VinExpo is the premier wine and spirits tradeshow in the world. The event, held every other year in Bordeaux, France, creates a global marketplace focused on wine. Two weeks ago, nearly 50,000 wine and spirits enthusiasts, along with 2,400 exhibitors representing 47 countries, gathered to revel in a shared passion.
I got the chance to learn a lot by manning the booth and hosting tastings for trade and distributors from around the world. The president of our company, the international sales team, my brother, sister, sister’s fiancé and mother all worked the booth as well.
A typical day at VinExpo started at 8 a.m. and lasted until 6 p.m., and was followed by business dinners that lasted until late in the night. It was a great experience, being able to meet winemakers, winery proprietors and distributors.
Winegrowing countries were organized in particular sections of the building. One thing that I was not very impressed with was the setup of the California Wines section. The setup was not conducive to California being perceived as a prestigious wine growing region. There was a sign saying “Explore California” with a giant banner of a surfer on it. The section had very small, compact booths lined up next to each other. I hope that in the future California will be categorized its different winegrowing regions with wineries representing each region.
However, attending this tradeshow enables us to have the type of global perspective needed to understand the world of wine — and I look forward to learning more in the future.