4th Edition of Wine Future in Coimbra Portugal deliberates on Future of Wine
Themed as “Breaking Barriers” the conference was co-organized by ViniPortugal, which represents the Wines of Portugal brand, and Chrand Events. Frederico Falcão, President of ViniPortugal said,” this was a world-class event, where some of the most influential names in the international and national wine sector debated topics such as the challenge of educating younger generations to consume wine in moderation, digital marketing, sustainability, among many other points that made us think over the course of the three days. It was very gratifying to see that those who visited us left with new lessons that they can apply to their businesses and activities.”
The current state of wine industry in the world is not enviable with the consumption going down slowly but surely, what with the widening choice of competing beverages available and a scare being created by the interested people that even a glass of wine was harmful. The topics related to how one needed to act and act now to reverse the direction and face the competition from several new alco- beverages.
It was generally agreed that the industry must find new ways to communicate with existing and potential consumers, moving away from the more formal and prescribed boring and technical jargon ascribed to wine and evolving something that appealed to the young and millennials, the current and next crop of wine drinkers.
In this respect, the Keynote speaker Bruce Dickinson, lead singer of Iron Maiden gave a very interesting and inspiring presentation underlining the importance of treating customers like fans who enjoyed every opportunity of engagement. Communicators, educators, marketers, and wine influencers need to learn to establish and develop connections with potential consumers of diverse backgrounds and circumstances to elevate the sector and its economy.
Dr. Laura Catena, from the Argentine Catena Zapata winery, who gave a vibrant presentation about the wine and health issues, said she was very impressed by the quality of the people who attended the event, the topics of discussion and the amount of business one could conduct.
The Magnificent Dozen Tastings
Over the course of three days, three wine tastings were held in the old Church building adjoining the conference venue that afforded the magnificent view of the city across the river. They were absolutely packed and many interested participants had to be turned away. Each Tasting had a different theme- Portuguese wines, classic wines and the Madeira/ Port combination were presented with most having the presence of the winemakers or representatives helping present the wines. One could thus taste 36 of the top wines of the world in the very first two days.
Inclusivity and diversity of the participants could be gauged from the participation from Asia, Australasia, Africa, South America, North America, and Europe.
Tasting multitude of Portuguese wines
Participants had the opportunity to visit the Stands of 36 organizations and taste wines from practically all regions of Portugal. Wines of Portugal; Amorim; Câmara Municipal do Porto; Diário de Coimbra; Proenol; Sogrape; Anselmo Mendes; Quinta do Casal; Mouchão; Casa da Passarella; Caves São João;
Barbeito; Ramos Pinto; Sogevinus Kopke-the oldest Port House; Quevedo; Casas Altas / Villa Oeira; New
Zealand Fine Wines; Gonzalez Byass; Hill Smith; Balzac; Crédito Agricola; WOW Porto, Vila Galé
(Santa Vitória / Val Moreira); Turismo Porto e Norte; INEGI; Verallia; Wine Future;
Bairrada; Turismo Centro Portugal; CVR Beira Interior; CVR Dão; CVR Tejo; CVR Lisboa;
Ponto Verde, and Robert Joseph presented his new wine in collaboration with Khareba winery in Georgia.
The event once again highlighted the importance of wine tourism for the survival of the wine industry or at least the important role it played in sustenance. Putting money where their mouth is, Adrian Bridge, CEO of Fladgate Partnership which had already started their efforts with the opening of Hotel Yeatman in Porto in 2010, had converted the old warehouses in Vila Nova de Gaia into WOW- World of Wine complex in 2020, an epitome of wine culture as one also saw on a visit in the evening of 8th evening to this Wine Culture District in Porto, a project conceptualized by Adrian several years earlier.
There were enough opportunities to taste the variety of Portuguese cuisine at the dinners hosted by Quinta das Lagrimas, Sogrape at Rei dos Leitões Restaurant and Taylor’s Port at the World of Wine (WOW).
Pancho Campo, CEO of Chrand Events, the man behind the conceptualization of Wine Future and the Green Wine Future looked extremely.happy at the end of the Conference. “We are extremely pleased with the outcome of this edition, with the excellent presentations and the magnificent tastings in a beautiful venue. I’m convinced that we’ve once again made an impact on the Portuguese and international wine community,” said Pancho.
So was Frederico Falcao, President of Vini Portugal who felt the organization and Portuguese wines were dressed in all their finery to impress the international dignitaries. As Robert Joseph, the international icon and author of his latest book Wine Thinking said at a dinner earlier, Portugal was a sleeping giant and from all accounts, there was a universal agreement that the giant had woken up now.
It is not easy to manage punctuality in such events. The perpetual rain could not affect the proceedings and though there was some initial delay, everything was on track soon and the program went smoothly like clockwork with good participation from the delegates as well.
There were enough opportunities to taste the variety of Portuguese cuisine at the dinners hosted by Quinta das Lagrimas at the Hotel das Lagrimas, Sogrape at Rei dos Leitões Restaurant and Taylor’s Port at the World of Wine (WOW).
Green Wine Future 2024
Green Wine Future will be organized exactly on the same dates, next year, i.e., from 7 to 9 November 2024 at the Florida international University – Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism. Kovens Conference Center, one of top ten largest convention centers in the US, will be the venue for the conference which will be the 10th edition of the Wine Future series. It will be dedicated entirely to sustainability, climate change, environmental issues, water resources, regenerative viticulture, carbon footprint, renewable energy, transportation, marketing and communications in the wine industry, according to Pancho Campo, CEO of Chrand Events.
So mark your calendar now to attend another Hallmark event next year on 7-9 November, 2024.