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WBWE 2015 closes with Record Participation

Posted: Friday, 27 November 2015 16:10

 

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WBWE 2015 closes with Record Participation

Nov 27: Amsterdam was transformed into the world’s wine capital and a Bulk Wine Exchange, with wine producers, buyers and professionals from 66 different nationalities getting together to conduct serious business at the 7th edition of the World Bulk Wine Exhibition (WBWE) held on November 23-24, with over 200 exhibitors from 21 countries, setting a new record of both participating exhibitors and visitors, reports Subhash Arora who atended the Exhibition for the third time

Click For Large ViewWineries from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Chile, China, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Kosovo, Malaysia, Moldova, Morocco, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and the United States used up 20% additional space  this year to showcase their wines. These participating nations represent about 85% of the international business conducted in the bulk wine sector.

The Exhibition’s Director, Ms. Otilia Romero de Condés, expressed optimism regarding the fair’s development and the record attendance of sellers and buyers. She highlighted the steady growth this annual trade fair has been experiencing and hoped that the effort made by the organizers would have helped to ensure profitable transactions for both buyers and sellers. The Exhibition has shown a double digit growth year-on-year both in participation and the number of visitors, a testimonial to its increasing influenceand relevance. She also stressed, ‘the importance of the World Bulk Wine Exhibition does not lie only in the number of participating wine producers but also in the amount of wine that is transacted and in the revenue generated at the Show.’

Official Conferences 2015

One of the highlights of the 2-day exhibition were several seminars by various experts. This year the theme was  “New wine scenes: Changes in habits, marketing and commercial strategies”.

Jean Claude Ruf, the Scientific Co-ordinator  and Head of Safety and Health unit of OIV opened the Conference, as has been the tradition. He presented the figures of 2014 with emphasis on bulk wine. Bulk Wines form 38% of the volume of total export, representing 14% of world wine production. 7 countries represent 85% of bulk exports- with Spain Click For Large View(33%), Italy (15%), Australia (11%), Chile (9%), South Africa (8%) and France (7%) being on top of the charts.

Nataliya Dickson, Head Buyer at the online retailer Perfect Cellar gave an interesting insight to the UK market which has 40% of it’s wines imported in bulk. Another interesting factor highlighted the exponential growth of sparkling Wines which saw a graowth of 38% last year.Indians drinking imported plonk would be happy to know that about 50% of the wines purchased in UK are sold at under £5, with máximum growth being in the £8-9 market.
Only 2% of the wine sold is over £10.

Click For Large ViewWhereas, its still illegal to sell online in India, 11% of retail sales in the UK are on-line and this number is expected to jump to 15% son, she said. Stressing the importance of supermarkets, she said that the Big 4 controlled about 50% of the  supermarket sales. Maximum sales online are in the 35-44 years category. This age group would love to order online, if the laws were made more consumer friendly.

There were interesting seminar about flexi-tanks vs. ISO tanks for transportation of bulk wine. A Presentation by Rafaelle del Ray about the Spanish Bulk wines was extremely interesting-the facts were already published in the previous issue. A Presentation by Esperanza Mendiola from Mexico brought home the similarities in the domestic production and imports and the high taxes (which she found high at 40%!) in that country. Interestingly, they prefer imports from Spanish speaking countries like Spain and Chile.

Some of the other Conferences will be covered separately in future articles.

Tasting Sessions

Click For Large ViewGuided tastings were organized on both days by producers and Associations from Sicily, Moldavia, La Mancha (Spain) and Gers (France). Each such session had around 5 wines to taste. Two different Tastings of La Mancha tried to bring fore the diverse terroir and climate conditions and the local grape varieties ranging from Airen and Bobal to Tempranillo.

Mr Dumitru Munteanu, Director of the National Office for Vine and Wine of Moldova used the opportunity to talk about the history of Moldova Wines and its four wine regions- Codru, Valul Lui Traian Stefan Voda and Balti. He stressed that the white grape production is 70% of the total and that the country has been making wine for over 2000 years and was not well known all these years as they focussed mainly on exports to Russia ealrier. Although it has around 30 grape varieties, it cultivates more of international grapes like Chardonnay and Sauvignon Click For Large ViewBlanc. The relatively high quality of the whites tasted at the event was  quite impressive.    

Voice of Wine

The Coop Languedoc Roussillon had already been declared  the winner of this year’s Voice of Wine award, a tribute to the continuing effort in promotion carried out by the region in France and abroad. ‘By delivering the 2015 Voice of Wine award we want to recognize the quality and diversity of these wines, produced with the utmost respect for the wine tradition typically associated with this region of the South of France, ‘ said Jose Murcia, Technical Director and moderator of the Conferences.

Languedoc Roussillon is the first wine region in France, with 230,000 hAs of surface area. It produced 12.4 mhL of wine in 2014; 75% of this wine is sold in bulk. The Coop Languedoc-Roussillon represents all wine producers from the area and deals with regional, national and European entities by implementing awareness and support actions with regards to the following:

  • Development in the face of climate or environmental change.
  • Economic development strategies, enhancement of wine quality, legal advice, training, employment and land management.
  • Supporting different cooperatives in their organization, cost effectiveness, and communication as well as in promotion, exports and consultancy.

International Bulk Wine Competition (IBWC)

Click For Large ViewIBWC was started 4 years ago in 2011 as the International Bulk Wine Competition and is conducted a day prior to the Exhibition, on Sunday.  Three panels of tasters from around the world judge the wine samples submitted. During the 5th edition this year, professionals from 14 countries including Subhash Arora from India, congregated to taste the 113 samples submitted from Argentina, Australia, Chile, Spain, France, Italy, South Africa, Canada and Croatia.

Malbec Reserva 2015 from Viñe dos Puertas Ltd. (Chile) and Negroamaro 2015 from Cantine Vincenzo Solferino (Italy) were the winners of the Great Gold Medals. There were 15 Gold Medals and 12 Silver Medals-totaling under 30% of the total samples. The   Awards were distributed to the winners during the Conference on the first day. For detailed results, click HERE.

Since the competition is to encourage, recognize and award the quality of bulk wines, it might be useful if a separate category-‘blending wines’ be created. There were several wines that were very good blending wines-especially because of the dark colour, created to add colour to the reds for consumer demand (for instance, in China, they accept only dark or very dark colour in red wines). But on their own, they might not have been medal worthy. A majority is in the category of varietals or blends ready to bottle. The producers would welcome the idea of a separate category when they make the wines for blending. This would be akin to unoaked and oaked categories in the regular wines, where oaked wines must be tasted keeping in mind the oak in them and not according to the personal taste of the taster.

Silent Tasting Room

Click For Large ViewThis has become a very popular concept at most wine shows and even at WBWE where the potential buyers have all the technical information of every sample and can taste without any pressure or influence from the producers or winemakers. Over 400 wine samples were on display and attracted a good number of serious tasters who could taste a wide range of wines from the globe.

Gourmet Area

This area is interesting and a gastronomers’ delight as Kike Piñeiro, chef and co-owner of the restaurant A Horta d’Obradoiro, in Santiago de Compostela in Spain, prepares dishes on both days by using wines from different countries to highlight the essence of grapes used. The 7th WBWE took the visitors to 7 destinations-the Menu being as follows:

Click For Large ViewScallop with soy mayonnaise and Torrontés (Argentina)
Mussel pâté with mascarpone and Chardonnay (Australia)
Vegetables and Pinotage wine (South Africa)
Smoked eel and mackerel with a veil of Müller Thurgau (The Netherlands)
Cod in Albariño with sesame and mashed purple potatoes in wine (Spain)
Pear in Cabernet Sauvignon flavor (France)
Bread soup with Zinfandel (United States)

The Vine

Click For Large ViewAfter a successful debut last year, the area was again devoted to vineyard products and byproducts of vinification. It had collected over 30 companies boasting a great variety of products, such as jams (Elasun, Bubub), beauty products (Uvas Frescas, LUVA), gin tonics (Group Grap’Sud), marzipan (Rodi), vinegars (De Nigris), scented candles (Vila Hermanos), functional bio-products for agriculture (Microgaia Biotech), vine shoots (Barbecue & Vigne) and organic grape derivatives (Explotaciones Hnos. Delgado).

INTERNATIONAL SCIENTIFIC POSTER COMPETITION

Click For Large ViewAn International Scientific Poster Competition was organized by The Vine last year. In its second year, many research studies from countries such as South Africa, France, Italy and Spain presented posters. The winning poster, “POTENTIAL APPLICATIONS OF A GRAPE SEED EXTRACT AS ANTIMICROBIAL AGENT IN ORAL HEALTH” won the €3,000 prize.

The Show has been organized by Pomona Keepers- a Madrid-based organization. The organizers are very convivial, warm and religious people. A unique feature of the Show is that it begins with a Benediction-by a priest brought personally from Madrid to bless the event in a private ceremony. It was an honour and a privilege to be allowed to participate in the ceremony as a special case, stressing that it was a very private affair. With that I would say- Amen.

Subhash Arora

5th International Bulk Wine Competition Results

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