NEW YORK –Vinexpo 2015, the world’s leading show for wine and spirits professionals, will roll out a number of firsts in Bordeaux during its next showcase (June 14-18). Chief among these is the designation of the U.S. as Vinexpo’s first-ever Country of Honor, putting American wineries front-and-center with an anticipated 50,000 professional visitors. In another major shift, gastronomy will take the spotlight for the first time, with more dining options and the participation of prestigious chefs.
Themed “Taste the Unexpected,” Vinexpo 2015 anticipates as many as 2,400 exhibitors from 44 wine-producing countries for a top-flight program of talks and tastings. Other show firsts include:
· A complete redesign that orients all exhibition spaces to face the lake. At the center of the show, Les Terrasses will bring together the major wine and spirits brands in expansive indoor-outdoor exhibition spaces that open into Hall 1 on one side and to the lake on the other.
· Themed spaces providing new inspiration to visitors. Among these will be a digital area, logistics advice area, wellness center, and three free tasting areas – two exploring the emerging trends for rosé and sparkling wines, and a third revisiting sweet wines.
· An innovative, personalized appointment booking service to ensure productive, targeted meetings during the exhibition. Requests will be entered into a database that will match exhibitors and visitors based on their individual needs, whether it’s a Chilean exhibitor seeking a Singaporean importer or a Belgian buyer looking for an Italian wine.
· A new workshop area where chefs and their sommeliers will demonstrate food and wine pairings.
· The Bordeaux launch of the Spiritual Bar, which made its debut in Hong Kong this year at Vinexpo Asia-Pacific. Reflecting the rise in Vinexpo participation from the spirits industry, which now represents 15 to 20 percent of the show’s exhibitors, the Spiritual Bar will feature spirits from around the world and demonstrations by leading mixologists.
· A larger catering area by the lake, ranging from a gourmet restaurant to food trucks. American cuisine will be among those represented in recognition of the Country of Honor designation. Exhibitors will be able to bring their own wine for lunch without corkage fees.
· A new exhibition category dedicated to drinks accessories.
· New tram service from the exhibition hall to Bordeaux’s town center, providing direct access, in just 15 minutes, to the city’s wealth of historic, cultural and gastronomic attractions.
· Fun and informal business networking parties held each evening after 10 p.m. Called The Blend, all four events will take place at Hangar 14 on the banks of the Garonne in Bordeaux itself, and will be open to all exhibition participants.
Vinexpo gathers the wine and spirits industry’s great innovators biennially in Bordeaux at the Parc des Expositions, just minutes from the historic town center and France’s most storied wine country. In 2013, Vinexpo drew 48,000 professional visitors, 2,400 exhibitors representing 44 wine-producing countries, and 1,250 journalists from around the world.
Founded in 1981, Vinexpo has evolved into the world’s leading show for wine and spirits professionals and a partner for the wine and spirits industry worldwide. Vinexpo is held in Bordeaux in odd-numbered years; since 2006, Vinexpo Asia-Pacific has taken place in Hong Kong in even-numbered years and has become the key exhibition of the industry in Asia. Before each exhibition, Vinexpo commissions studies on industry-specific issues and presents the findings in conferences around the world. Since 1999, it has produced a world market study with a five-year outlook, as well as a variety of trend reports. For more information, visit www.vinexpo.com.