Are you ready for WBWE 2019?
Industry insiders handling 80% of the world’s bulk wine production will flock to Amsterdam in two weeks for this year’s World Bulk Wine Exhibition.
The 11th edition of the biggest world fair devoted to bulk wine will host more than 260 wineries from 24 different countries worldwide.
Taking place from Monday 2 December till Wednesday 3 December, this year’s exhibition will see professionals from all corners of the drinks industry descend on Amsterdam RAI to network and secure lucrative deals that shape the international wine trade’s landscape.
Since its inception 11 years ago, there have been “radical changes” in the sector, according to WBWE chief executive Otilia Romero de Condés, adding that “the fact that the market no longer accepts low quality is certain.”
Smaller global harvests that have affected virtually every major wine-producing country have sent shockwaves around the buying community.
Add to that the ongoing threat of raised tariffs between the US and EU, currency fluctuations and economic turbulence around the world, and political unrest everywhere else, and you can see why bottlers and buyers are looking at new places to source their wines from when their usual routes to market are less reliable than they were five years ago.
2019 has been a tough year for South Africa, according to the Bulk Wine Club. Overall, the 2019 vintage is the lowest recorded since 2005, 90% due to drought and 10% uprooting of older vines. In the first eight months of this year, exports fell by 41%.
Spain, while still the biggest producer of bulk wine, has also taken a hit to its export figures, which fell by 1.3% in terms of volume and by 19.3% in value.
Spain and France may still be market leaders, but de Condes says buyers are “looking for new challenges and new production areas” that offer much better value for money. In this sense, she says, “the importance of Eastern Europe is clear”.
North Macedonia will appear at the fair with a joint stand for the first time this year, while Moldova has also increased its presence from 14 exhibitors last year, to 18 in 2019.
What to look for at this year’s World Bulk Wine Exhibition
International Bulk Wine Competition
The only international contest that awards and promotes the quality of bulk wines from all across the globe, last year’s competition gathered almost 200 wines from 11 origins: Georgia, Spain, Argentina, Chile, Italy, Uruguay, France, South Africa, Australia, Romania and the US.
Voice of Wine
This prize is aimed at giving credit to the individuals, institutions or associations that are characterised by their daily support to wine in general and bulk wine in particular, which will be announced on 2 December at the exhibition’s launch. Previous winners have included Wines of Moldova, ProChile, and Wines of South Africa.
North Macedonian Wines in the International Trade
North Macedonian wineries will be at the exhibition with a joint stand for the first time in 2019. On 3 December, Elena Miloshveska, of the Wine Association of North Macedonia, will deliver a seminar shedding light on the country’s wine output and its potential as a trading partner.
Spirits now welcome
If there was ever a greater indication of the shifting drinking habits of consumers today, the World Bulk Wine Fair has now expanded to offer producers of distilled spirits business opportunities and a chance to book a stand. Several companies are already participating with their distilled products, such as Bolero in Georgia, Distillerie de la Tour in France, US-based O’Neill Vintners & Distillers, and Alvisa, from Spain.