Serving up the New Normal

Whilst nothing compares to face-to-face interaction, virtual and hybrid meetings and events are proving to be an effective way to reach a broad audience, maximise investment and allow both wine producers and wine importers to stay connected to their markets.

Welcome to a new era!

Covid-19 has given birth to the digitalisation of the wine import – export industry. One of the few upsides to have emerged from the crisis lies in the role that technology is increasingly playing in the way we work and interact.

Some businesses may find that they are struggling to figure out how one can import – export without attending a trade fair or B2B Workshop. Help is at hand. 

Now wine importers can source everything they needed for their markets all in one place and in the space of only three days from the safety of their own home and/or office. Wine producers too benefit by making huge savings on costly trade fairs, travel and accommodation by meeting active wine importers looking to source new wines from around Europe.

Wine Events Worldwide under the well known brand name Wine Pleasures has adapted their annual B2B in person Workshop events to online allowing wine producers to connect with wine importers globally and for wine importers to source new wines from Old World countries

The programme is designed to make sure that wine importers can not only discover new and exciting Old World wines, but also get in front of the producers who provide them. With a bespoke matchmaking system, wine producers will be able to meet with the wine importers, distributors, and retailers that interest them and learn more about what they’re looking for.

Participating in the Wine Pleasures B2B Workshop Global may be the best “business trip” both wine importers and wine producers can go on in 2020!

Producer information and registration here>>

Buyer Information and registration here>>

Keynotes for Sparkling WINE Week by Wine Pleasures announced

We’re excited to share that Giampiero Nadali and Liz Palmer will be appearing as keynote speakers at Sparkling WINE Week by Wine Pleasures.

Giampiero, co-creator of Fermenti Digitali (“Digital Yeasts”), will deliver an inspirational session on The Sparkling Wines of Italy from north to south, exploring specific terroirs and production methods.

Liz is a well-respected award-winning author and wine journalist since 2004 and has an international reputation as a critic and judge. Liz has had the pleasure of interviewing and tasting with some of the industry’s leading winemakers, professors and personalities. At Sparkling WINE week she will be presenting Champagne popping out of Covid-19

Also in the 2 day programme will be a talk titled Adventures in Fizz with host Anthony Swift. Champagne, Cava, Franciacorta and Prosecco may dominate the sparkling wine world, but there many other exciting top tier options to consider for import. Anthony will be reviewing the gold medal winners in the annual sparkling wine competition 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World.

Also in the programme and looking to connect with international wine importers are several live interviews with bubble producers from diverse regions such as Champagne, Piemonte, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Penedès and Mendoza.

To view the event programme and register for free here>>

Introducing Sparkling WINE Week Online Trade Fair

On the 1 & 2 July 2020 Wine Pleasures is launching Sparkling WINE Week – an online trade fair aimed at helping sparkling wine producers to pitch to wine importers from around the world when travel is virtually impossible. Event host Anthony Swift explains how it is going to work.

Tell us about Sparkling WINE Week.

As we organise not only B2B Workshops in Spain, Italy and the UK but also we organise two annual Sparkling Wiine competitons – 50 Great Cavas and 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World,  it made sense in these challenging times to look at how to keep wine producers and wine buyers connected and doing business while simultaneously providing useful content to help the wine importer with their businesses. Having just completed Spanish WINE Week and Italian WINE Week in May organising the Sparkling WINE week was an obvious next step.

Delivered in English, the Sparkling WINE Week 2 day programme offers cutting edge professional education opportunities for the wine buying professionals at all levels. Attendees can take advantage of influential, expert led sessions and enhance their knowledge, grow their business and in their profession and be inspired! The programme also contains live interviews with boutique sparkling wine producers to enable wine buyers to make great sparkling discoveries from diverse terroirs in countries such as Argentina, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the UK.

That seems like a good blend of  tools to help both producers and buyers in what is a difficult time. How did Spanish WINE Week and Italain WINE Week go?

Went great!  We had Masters of Wine Fernado Mora and Sarah Jane Evans as keynote speakers for Spain and Richard Baudains and Giampiero Nadalli for Italy and we had an excellent range of boutique wine producers from around Spain and Italy. The event was well attended by wine importers and distributors from Japan to the USA and from Scandinavian countries to Australia. Over a 100 buyer appointment requests were received.

So how will Sparkling WINE Week work? 

Much the same as Spanish and Italian WINE Week but with a greater attendance of wine importers – we are expecting around 500 buyers to sign up for the event.

5 live daily sessions will be run with a program that includes  talks delivered by expert speakers, interviews with producers, and some videos of different regions from around the world.  We’re also providing a tool to set up private meetings between producers and buyers to create new business opportunities.

Sparkling Wine producers interested in participating in the programme can view more info here: https://www.winepleasures.com/workshop/sparkling-wine-week/

What happens if a buyer signs up but misses a live session?

No problem. If an attendee misses any or all of the live sessions he or she will be able to view a replay whenever convenient. 

How do buyers get involved if they want to participate?

The event is free for wine buyers, distributors, retailers, agents, journalists and bloggers. Buyers wishing to participate in the event should register here: https://www.winepleasures.com/workshop/sparkling-wine-week-2020/

If you would like to find out any more about Sparkling WINE Week then contact Anthony Swift on info@winepleasures.com or T. +34 93 897 70 48
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www.winepleasures.com

Sarah Jane Evans MW Keynote Speaker at Spanish Wine Day by Wine Pleasures

We are thrilled to announce that Master of Wine Sarah Jane Evans will be joining us as our keynote speaker for Spanish Wine Day 9 June 2020!

Sarah Jane Evans is an award-winning writer, international keynote speaker, wine judge and Co-Chairman of the world’s largest wine competition, the Decanter World Wine Award.

Spanish Wine Day is a business, educational and networking online for the trade. Sarah Jane will uncork the event with a talk titled: New Wave Spanish whites where she will uncover the treasure trove of Spain’s white varieties. This will be followed by Live interviews with producers from diverse terroirs such as Priorat, Ribera del Duero, Rias Baixas, Rioja and the Penedès just to name a few. Sarah Jane closes the one day event with a seminar titled: Mencía and the Fresh Red Wines of the North-West where she will introduce the new-wave fresh reds of North-west Spain.

Registration for the trade is free and wine trade professional can register at Spanish WINE Day>>

Spanish WINE Week

Join the Online Spanish WINE Week 5 – 7 May 2020 and your industry peers for a free, 3-day online event specifically for wine importers, distributors, the on and off trade and trade journalists.

This summit provides the wine trade with inspiration, business connections & educational content through in-depth live interviews with wine producers, interviews with industry thought leaders, and practical insights on how to cope with the current global conditions. Our goal for this online event is to allow the wine trade to participate, learn and grow together in this time of need – no matter where you happen to be.

Programme

The Live stream will start daily at 13.00 GMT +1 (EST 09.00) and ends at around 19.30 GMT + 1 each day.

Day 1: Tuesday 5 May 2020: 14.00 to 19.30

Time & Activity

Session 1

14.00 – 14.10 A Wine Pleasures Welcome
14.10 – 15. 00 Seminar: The Surprising Terroirs & Wines of Spain. Speaker Clara Antúnez
Spanish wines taste different. Spanish grape varieties give flavours that you don’t find anywhere else. The vineyards are planted on rock, on limestone, on volcanic ash, on clay, on sand, or on mixtures of all these. To fashion these raw materials into modern, exciting wines, there is a generation of young winemaker who have travelled the world and learned all there is to know about winemaking. The results are incredibly varied in style, from delicate, low-alcohol whites to the richest imaginable reds, from gentle rosés to the great sparkling wines. It will be an introduction to open your eyes to a new world of very different wines.

Session 2

15.15 – 16.15 Live interviews with wine producers – Atlante (Valle de la Orotava), Mont Reaga (IGP Tierra de Castilla), Vins Familia Ferrer (Cava & Catalunya)

Session 3

16.30 – 17.00 Seminar: Corpinnat – what’s that? Speaker Xavier Gramona

Session 4

17.15 – 18.15 Live Interviews with wine producers – Bodegas Monte de la Reina (Toro), Bodegas Tempore (IGP Bajo Aragón), Hermanos Frías del Val (Rioja Alavesa)

Session 5

18.30 – 19.30 Seminar: Why Spain’s Garnacha is on everyone’s lips. Speaker Fernando Mora MW
Spain is the origin country for the Garnacha grape (aka. Grenache), an underrated variety in the past, however now it takes part in some of the most exciting wines of the country. This grape shows different faces in the vast Spanish country, since it has very high capacity to show the place where it is grown. In this semminar, we will learn about this grape, the different types, the myths, the expressions and the most important characteristics. Garnacha is cool, discover it! 

Day 2 Wednesday 6 May 2020: 14.00 a 19.30 

Time & Activity

Session 1

14.00 – 14.10 Welcome
14.10 – 15. 00 Seminar: Old Vines, Better Wines?. Speaker Fernando Mora MW
If there is a differential fact in Spanish viticulture it is the existing surface under old vines. Unfortunately, European plans, lack of profitability and other factors are decreasing this amazing resource. Are wines coming from the old vineyards better quality? Will there be old vineyards in 100 years? These and other questions will be answered in a precise and fundamental way. Other countries have been classifying and protecting their old vineyards, because they know the qualitative and marketing power of them.

Session 2

15.15 – 16.15 Live interviews with wine producers – Huellas del Tiétar (DOP Vinos de Cebreros), Bodegas Resalte (Ribera del Duero), Clos Montblanc (Conca de Barberà)

Session 3

16.30 . 17.00 Seminar: Cava 2020. A guide to its wines, regions and styles. Speakers Anthony Swift & Juan Manuel Gonzalvo (Judges competition annual “50 Great Cavas”)

Session 4

17.15 – 18.15 Live Interviews with wine producers – Gramona (Corpinnat & Penedès), Celistia (Costers del Segre), Bodegas y Viñedos Milénco (Ribera del Duero)

Session 5

18.30 – 19.30 Seminar: How ecommerce platforms can help the wine trade industry to develop their online sales. Speaker Nico Bour, Head of Business & Marketing Uvinum (Drinks & Co)
eCommerce in the wine business is a reality. With the development of huge ecommerce platforms like Amazon, uvinum/Drinks&co or Vivino , the wine industry (importers, wholesales, etc..) has now access to millions of customers to sell their products online. Let’s talk about the opportunities and some keys to succeed. 

Day 3 Thursday 7 May 2020: 14.00 a 19.00

Time & Activity

Session 1

14.00 – 14.10 Welcome
14.10 – 15. 00 Natural Wines: Why not?. Winemaker Daniel Ramos defines this niche but exciitng wine category and will cover What is Natural Wine, – A trend or a reality, Natural Wine: Why not?, Markets and final consumers of natural wine.

Session 2

15.15 – 16.15 Live interviews with wine producers – Godelia (Bierzo), DOSTERRAS (Montsant), Ferré i Catasús (Penedès)

Session 3

16.30 . 17.00 Seminar: D.O.P. Sierra de Salamanca: the remote realm of Rufete. Speaker Miquel Udina

Session 4

17.15 – 18.15 Live Interviews with wine producers– Bodegas Vegalfaro (Utiel-Requena), Hacienda El Ternero (D.O.Ca. Rioja), Baldovar 923 (Valencia)

Session 5

18.30 – 19.00  Seminar: D.O. Jumilla Wine Region: The Organic High Plateau: Kingdom of Monastrell. Speakers Carolina Martinez Origane & Esther Gonzalez de Paz
Jumilla is an emerging, exciting wine region, pioneer in Organic wines. Jumilla is one of the oldest DOs in Spain, created in 1966, with strong culture on wine making, and millenarian know how. Monastrell is a late-ripening variety, which thrives in the heat and produces wines that range from lively and fruity, to stunningly complex. In many of Jumilla’s vineyards, Monastrell vines remain ungraftedAdd the moutain barriers and a picture starts to emerge … 

Free registration here>>

Enoturismo en Casa

Con el confinamiento en casa de casi todo Europa,  la empresa Wine Events Worldwide bajo su marca Wine Pleasures ubicada en la provincia de Barcelona ha anuciado su proyecto Wine Tourism at home (Enoturismo en Casa). Ante la imposibilidad de salir de casa que muchas personas en Europa tienen, Wine Pleasures quiere ofrecer una actividad para poder disfrutar en casa del enoturismo y del vino a través del internet.

El pack Wine Tourism Experience at home que se etrega a domicilio sin contacto humano, incluye 3 botellas de 3 bodegas artesanas differentes, las fichas técnicas, un sacacorchos o un tapón de Cava y una copia del libro editado por Wine Pleasures titulado “50 Great Cavas”. Una vez entregada un sumiller se pone en contacto con el cliente a fin de establcer día y hora para hacerles una visita guida virtual de cada bodega así como una cata comentada de cada vino de cada bodega. El sumiller ademàs se comenta cuestiones tales como el vino, su cuidado, forma adecuada de servirlo e introducción a las nociones básicas de maridaje. La actividad es divertido y al la vez educativa y además apoya no solo a las bodegas artesanas familiares españolas no presentes en las grandes supermercados sino también a sumillers que trabajan habitualmente en el sector HORECA.

La iniciative Wine Tourism at home está accesible en la web de Wine Pleasures.  Las 3 experiencas a escoger son las siguientes:

  • Discover Spain’s Penedès Cava region
  • Nose out bold red wine regions of Spain
  • Summer whites in Spain’s Catalonia wine regions

Wine Tourism at Home

With many European countries currently in lockdown, businesses have had to get creative throughout. Tourism is a hard hit sector as families and friends are now forced to entertain themselves at home. Some tourism service providers have been putting on their thinking hats and come up with some interesting affordable iniciatives.

Barcelona based business Wine Events Worldwide under their brand name Wine Pleasures has come up with a unique and brand new idea of organising Wine tourism at home. And it comes with all the fixings to go on a “winery tour” of some of Catalonia’s best boutique wine producers right from the customer’s own home. Here’s how it works, according to Wine Pleasures.

A wine tourism experience box will be delivered, with no physical contact with anyone to the customer’s door anywhere in Europe and containing a selection of 3 wines from 3 different family producers. Customers are later linked up with a qualified sommellier who will take them on a 45 minute virtual tour of each winery, telling a few winery stories while guiding the customer through the tasting of each wine looking at colour, aromas and taste. The experience is both fun and educational and can cater for up to 10 people.

Customers can choose from 3 initial wine tourism experiences:

  • Discover Spain’s Penedès Cava region
  • Nose out bold red wine regions of Spain
  • Summer whites in Spain’s Catalonia wine regions

Purchases of the wine tourism experience, which costs just €170 (includes postage and packaging) for homes in Europe can be enjoyed by the whole family so a family of 5 will only really be paying  €34 each.

This completely immersive experience will not only be educational and fun to do, but each wine tourism experience purchased will be supporting three small boutique winery businesses not present on the supermarket shelves.It will also provide employment for sommelliers not able to work in restaurants and hotels.

For more information on Wine Tourism Experiences at Home by Wine Pleasures here: https://www.winepleasures.com/workshop/wine-tourism-at-home/ 

Wine Pleasures B2B Workshop in Spain mostrará la excelencia de los vinos boutique internacionalmente

La veintena edición de este innovador evento profesional, impulsado por Wine Pleasures, se celebrará en el Double Tree by Hilton Barcelona Golf Hotel, Resort y Spa del 2 al 4 de marzo de 2020. Wine Pleasures B2B Workshop es la mayor plataforma B2B para dar a conocer internacionalmente la excepcional oferta de vinos “boutique” de España.

A partir de un concepto y un formato altamente personalizado Wine Pleasures B2B, permitirá potenciar las oportunidades de negocio con compradores de vino extranjeros y maximizar el retorno de las bodegas participantes. El B2B prevé conseguir unos 40 importadores internacionales de alto nivel procedentes de unos 20 países considerados importantes para las bodegas, entre los que destacan Alemania, Holanda,  Irlanda, Kahakstan, Estados Unidos, Canadá, Brasil, Malasia, China, Hong Kong y Vietnam. Cada importador realizará una agenda de 20 reuniones durante el Workshop.

El evento ya cuenta con la participación de bodegas de las Designaciones de Origen: Alicante, Conca de Barberà, Empordà, Cava, Pla i Llevant, Montsant, Penedès, Priorat, Rioja y Terra Alta y con la participación de bodegas portuguesas.

En total, el evento estima la celebración de unas 800 reuniones B2B durante su celebración.

Más información e inscripción>>

50 Great Cavas to try in 2020

Once again the only annual wine competition for Cava has uncorked a breathtaking range of Brut Nature and Brut Cavas from young to long aged ready for Christmas and throughout 2020. Anthony Swift, Competition Director highlights the Cavas that excelled at the annual tasting organised by Wine Pleasures.

12 top-tier Cavas receive Gold Medals with scores of 95 & 96 points and have been been classified as Highly Recomended and these were obtained by producers who score high year on year in the competition Regular Gold winners include Adernats (Nulles, Tarragona), Vía de la Plata (Extremadura), Sumarroca (Penedès), UVESTE (Requena, Valencia), Rovellats (Penedès) and Roger Goulart (Penedès) . Also achieving a Gold medal are newcomers to the competiton: Agrícola Casa Sala (Penedès) with Can Sala Cava de Paraje and Clos Montblanc (Concà de Barberà) with Clos Montblanc Brut Premium

The remainder of the Cavas were classified as Recommended and were awarded Silver medals with scores ranging between 90 and 94 points. Most of the medals were awarded to producers in the Penedès wine region (Catalonia) with some awards going to producers located in Calatayud (Bodegas Langa), Extremadura (Vía de la Plata) & Valencia (Bodegas Vegalfaro & UVESTE). Some interesting retail prices too amongst the 50 Greats ranging from €4,95 to €35 Euros making Cava a luxury you can afford whenever you wish.

Those looking to splurge on long aged Cava (Cava Grand Reserva Larga Crianza) should try and get their hands on prize winners from prestigious Cava producers Sumarroca Núria Claverol Homenatge (40 months), RRP €43,95 and Agrícola Casa Sala Can Sala (132 months), RRP €75,00

The results of the 2020 edition of annual competition 50 Great Cavas can be viewed at https://www.winepleasures.com/50-great-cavas-2020 and contains all the Gold and Silver medal winners with photos and tasting notes for each. 50 Great Cavas 2020 is a useful resource consulted by both the on and off trade and the end wine consumer/wine traveller.

 

World’s Top Sparkling Wine Competitions

Effervescents du Monde

The longest running competition exclusively for sparkling wines Effervescents du Monde, organised by the Association Forum Œnologie, in participation with the Revue des Œnologues and in partnership with the Castel Culinary School (Dijon, France), which acts as the sensory performance assessment centre for the expert judges, and hosts the competition. The competition receives over 500 entries from over 20 countries. The majority of the entries are from France and involves some 100 international judges. More information here>>

50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World Competition

The completion 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World makes for a more competitive competition as medals are only awarded to those producers awarded the 50 best scores. 5 judges are appointed each year with 2 of them being constant. Judges are typically wine buyers/sommeliers with current direct commercial buying responsibility. The competition singles out and shines the spotlight on 50 sparkling wines that consumers really want to buy and have a clear market value for trade buyers. Judging is organised according to method of production. Portugal, Italy and Spain tend to dominate the top 50 positions. More information here>>

The Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships

A more sophisticated sparkling wine completion which not only tastes and rates the wines but also breaks down the results into several category winners so for example you have World Champion by Style, National Champion, Regional Champion, Best in Class, Chairman’s Choice and the list goes on. Unique to this competition is that there are just 3 judges namely Tom Stevenson, Essi AveLlan MW and Dr. Tony Jordan and as a team they judge all of the entries on a year on year basis which means constant, reliable and efficient judging. As the name of the competition implies a high number of entries from France. More information here>>

50 Great Cavas

The only competition for sparkling wines produced under Spain’s Designation of Origen, Cava. A panel of 5 international judges from around the world including including Masters of Wine and Sommeliers, importers, wine makers, journalists sit down over two days and judge the Cavas according to 4 categories Cava, Reserva, Gran Reserva, Cava de Paraje. Within each category Cavas are organised in flights according to dosage. Gold and Silver medals are awarded to the top 50 scorers. More information here>>

Brazilian Sparkling Contest

Recognized as the main competition for the promotion of Brazilian sparkling wine, the Brazilian Sparkling Contest receives registrations of sparkling wines obtained from the different methods of production. The sparkling wines are tasted by a select group of tasters chosen by the Associação Brasileira de Enologia (charmat and traditional method). Tasting standards of the International Grape and Wine Organization (OIV) and the International Union of Winemakers (UIOE) continue to guide the event. The best sparkling wines are awarded according to category. More information here>>

Did we miss any? Please feel free to add a comment pointing to a competition not listed here.