2024 Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris: The Report

The 5th Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris has turned the current economic challenges into strategic opportunities for the wine and spirits industry. This year, the event has established its credentials not only as a pivotal hub for business, but also as an influential platform, stepping up its decisive role in the business and political space globally.

2024 marks a turning point, with Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris making a sustainable economic contribution to the wine and spirits industry. Exhibitor numbers rose to 4,074, including 53% from overseas representing 48 producer countries, underscoring Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris’ enhanced appeal and international scope. Visitor attendance increased by 14% on the previous exhibition to 41,253 and included 41% international visitors from 137 countries, illustrating the event’s overall reach and growing influence.

Vinexposium’s commitment to business development was mirrored in the 30% rise in attendance by the main buyers from key markets. The top 5 nations represented after France were Italy, Belgium, the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany. The matchmaking service also reached a new performance milestone with 10,146 appointments between producers and buyers made online.

Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris, a place of influence

Placed under the high patronage of Mr Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic, Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris received visits by three French ministers and 27 ambassadors, including those from the United States, Italy, Portugal, Japan, Austria, Spain, Switzerland, China, New Zealand and Australia.

The 2024 Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris opening ceremony saw keynote speeches by the Minister of Agriculture and Food Sovereignty, Marc Fesneau, and the Minister of State for Public Accounts, Thomas Cazenave. The collaborative tone of the opening speeches, with input by Vinexposium CEO Rodolphe Lameyse, highlighted the event’s role as a strategic space where the industry can speak with one voice, share ideas and meet current challenges while also setting its sights on a sustainable future. The significance of international trade and the collaborative efforts required to cope with geo-economic risks were also underscored.

A visit by Frank Riester, Minister of State for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness, ended the third day by describing the event as a major exhibition for wine and spirits exports, stressing the importance of wines and spirits to France’s export trade balance. 2023 French export results were in fact announced at Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris by the FEVS.

The International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV), with which Vinexposium works collaboratively, granted its patronage to the scientific sessions of the ON! programme. The event also offered a valuable opportunity for OIV, which took part for the entire three days, to meet many international industry personalities.

Even greater buzz for the ON! and OFF programmes

The ON! programme was enhanced in order to foster dialogue and provide the industry with food for thought. 126 sessions featured on the official programme, in addition to individual presentations hosted on exhibitor stands.

Paul Robinson, wine director at Robinson Wine Merchants, recounts: “As a buyer, it is my responsibility to prioritise business appointments at Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris, but I attended two panel discussions which I found extremely interesting. The ON! programme is one of the highlights of the exhibition”.

The OFF programme, which featured a selection of 200 restaurants and bars across the capital, encouraged attendees to continue their conversations after nightfall in a more relaxed setting.

Angelo Martelli, director at Super Buyrite, found inspiration there: “With so many appointments on stands by day, I particularly enjoyed being able to continue my business relations in the evening as part of the OFF programme. Paris truly is an ideal city for this and the selection was great. It’s that little extra that makes all the difference”.

Be Spirits, an enhanced range

In 2024, Be Spirits reached a whole new level with 26 producer countries exhibiting, an extra 47% floor spaced compared with 2023 and nearly 200 exhibitors, 54% of them new. Alongside the many French exhibitors, international attendee numbers soared by 92%.

The hall designed for spirits, no/lows, beers and ciders attracted buyers and mixologists from across the globe. The robust programme of debates and masterclasses aimed at deciphering markets, exploring the most revolutionary products and responding jointly to the business issues of the future attracted a full house.

Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris 2024 ends, but ushers in the next 12 months

Until the next Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris from 10 to 12 February 2025, the industry is invited to Hong Kong from 28 to 30 May for Vinexpo Asia, New York on 24 and 25 June for Vinexpo America, Mumbai on 16 and 17 September for Vinexpo India, and Amsterdam on 25 and 26 November for the World Bulk Wine Exhibition (WBWE).

Taste-Driven AI Algorithms Enhance Wine Selections

For wine enthusiasts, choosing a bottle of wine can be challenging when scanning unfamiliar labels, while shopping. Questions that come to mind: What does it taste like? What was the last one I bought that tasted so good? Vivino, Hello Vino, Wine Searcher and other apps let wine buyers scan labels to get information about the wine and read reviews of others. These apps have been built from artificially intelligent algorithms.

Using taste or other sensory inputs as data sources is entirely new.

Now, scientists from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), the University of Copenhagen and Caltech have shown that you can add a new parameter to the algorithms that makes it easier to find a precise match for your own taste buds: Namely, people’s impressions of flavour.

“We have demonstrated that, by feeding an algorithm with data consisting of people’s flavour impressions, the algorithm can make more accurate predictions of what kind of wine we individually prefer,” says Thoranna Bender, a graduate student at DTU who conducted the study under the auspices of the Pioneer Centre for AI at the University of Copenhagen.

More accurate predictions of people’s favourite wines
The researchers held wine tastings during which 256 participants were asked to arrange shot-sized cups of different wines on a piece of A3 paper based upon which wines they thought tasted most similarly. The greater the distance between the cups, the greater the difference in their flavour. The method is widely used in consumer tests. The researchers then digitized the points on the sheets of paper by photographing them.

The data collected from the wine tastings was then combined with hundreds of thousands of wine labels and user reviews provided to the researchers by Vivino, a global wine app and marketplace. Next, the researchers developed an algorithm based on the enormous data set.

“The dimension of flavour that we created in the model provides us with information about which wines are similar in taste and which are not. So, for example, I can stand with my favourite bottle of wine and say: I would like to know which wine is most similar to it in taste – or both in taste and price,” says Thoranna Bender.

Professor and co-author Serge Belongie from the Department of Computer Science, who heads the Pioneer Centre for AI at the University of Copenhagen, adds:

“We can see that when the algorithm combines the data from wine labels and reviews with the data from the wine tastings, it makes more accurate predictions of people’s wine preferences than when it only uses the traditional types of data in the form of images and text. So, teaching machines to use human sensory experiences results in better algorithms that benefit the user.”

Thoranna Bender points out that the researchers’ method can easily be transferred to other types of food and drink as well:

“We’ve chosen wine as a case, but the same method can just as well be applied to beer and coffee. For example, the approach can be used to recommend products and perhaps even food recipes to people. And if we can better understand the taste similarities in food, we can also use it in the healthcare sector to put together meals that meet with the tastes and nutritional needs of patients. It might even be used to develop foods tailored to different taste profiles.”
The researchers have published their data on an open server and can be used at no cost.

“We hope that someone out there will want to build upon our data. I’ve already fielded requests from people who have additional data that they would like to include in our dataset. I think that’s really cool,” concludes Thoranna Bender.

Key Facts:
1. Wine apps are using AI algorithms to assist users in selecting wines based on labels and reviews.
2. Researchers integrated people’s flavor impressions into the algorithms for more accurate wine recommendations.
3. This approach can be extended to beer, coffee, and personalized food recommendations, benefiting various industries.

Source: Neuroscience News

The 10 most-consumed alcoholic drinks have been identified

Insider Monkey’s list of the 10 most-consumed alcoholic drinks have been identified in a new list that outlines which tipples we favour most.

The analysts at the investment advisors Insider Monkey drew from their deeper dive report of the ‘20 Most Consumed Alcohols in the World’. Here is a list of the top 10, for your review.

1. Beer
Global market size in 2022: US$793.74 billion

Beer is the most consumed alcohol in the world. In fact, after water and tea, beer is the most popular drink in the world. According to reports, in the 2022 brewing year, global beer production ended up increasing slightly year-on-year by 1.3% to 1.89 billion hectolitres. However, the market is yet to return to its pre-pandemic levels when production peaked at 1.91 billion hectolitres in 2019. The category has also evolved with consumer tastes as brewers look to satisfy the thirst of their audience. Plus, the overall demand for premium and low-calorie beers, the rising popularity of craft beer, and the continued expansion of distribution networks in emerging countries are all expected to continue driving growth in the global beer sector over the next few years.

2. Wine
Global market size in 2022: US$441.6 billion

The rising demand for premium and luxury wines has been reported alongside the growing popularity of wine tourism which have become key factors driving growth. According to the analysts, global wine consumption in 2022 was estimated to be at 232 million hectolitres, marking a decrease of 1% compared to the previous year. Year-on-year, wine consumption around the world has decreased at a regular rate and yet this can be mainly attributed to the decline in China’s consumption, which has lost an average 2 million hectolitres per year since 2018.

3. Liqueurs
Global market size in 2022: US$128.9 billion

Liqueurs, which are essentially distilled spirits that are sweetened with sugar or syrup, and often also contain fruit, herbs, and oils, can be sweet or bitter depending on the flavours used.

4. Baijiu
Global market size in 2022: US$95.21 billion

Baiju plays a prominent role in China’s drinking culture and has done so ever since the Ming Dynasty. It is most distilled from sorghum, although other grains – including rice, wheat, corn, and millet – are also available in blends throughout the country. Last year, consumers in China consumed US$91 billion worth of baijiu, yet it remains less well-known outside the nation.

5. Whisky
Global market size in 2022: US$64 billion

As millennials are increasingly beginning to experiment with different drinks and assisting in the rise of ‘cocktail culture’, the use of whisky as a premium ingredient has increased in bars. 2022 was hinted to be a great year for Scotch whisky and exports of Scotland’s native spirit hit US$7.5 billion last year, the highest figures ever. Whisky exports by volume also rose, with the number of 700ml bottles shipped overseas up by 21%, to 1.67 billion.

6. Vodka
Global market size in 2022: US$25.98 billion

Vodka continues to be the most consumed spirit in the US and has been since 1970. Around 78.1 million cases of the spirit were sold in America in 2021 and by 2022, 28.1 million 9L cases were sold globally.

7. Cider
Global market size in 2022: US$17.9 billion

Cider has risen in popularity significantly over the last decade and can also flex with the seasons. In the UK, Insider Monkey outlines how cider continues to be a popular alcoholic drinks category with an off-trade value sales growth in the UK of 5.2% over the past year. Some 47.8% of all British households now regularly buy cider – up from 45.5% last year.

8. Rum
Global market size in 2022: US$17.4 billion

While rum sales are still dominated by major producers, many consumer preferences are said to be moving away from value options and towards an appreciation for craft and aged rums instead. Made from fermented sugar cane juice, rum also provides a key function in cocktail culture.

9. Gin
Global market size in 2022: US$15.3 billion

There are, reportedly, three main reasons for gin’s continued popularity – taste, versatility, and the variety now available. The UK is the largest exporter of gin in the world and, according to His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) data, gin exports from Britain hit US$879 million last year, up from US$651 million in 2021.

10. Tequila
Global market size in 2022: US$14.7 billion

Tequila’s popularity has been on the rise for years, and in 2021 it surpassed whisky in retail sales. The analysts found that the growth in popularity of Tequila can primarily be attributed to several factors, including the expansion of the premium spirits sector as well as the introduction of new flavours, and a greater social media presence.

Announcing Liz Palmer is Guest Speaker at the 7th UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism

I’m so thrilled to have been invited as a guest speaker at the upcoming 7th UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism!!

The topics for the 7th Edition include “Inclusive, Sustainable and Digital Wine Tourism: Building Stronger Territorial Cohesion”

This yearly conference has become a leading international forum on trends, tools and opportunities to advance global wine tourism. It also provides opportunities for experts and professionals, as well as consolidated and emerging destinations in this tourism segment to exchange knowledge and experiences.

Since 2016, the Conference has highlighted the importance of wine tourism to the socio-economic development of destinations and has served as a platform to exchange experiences, identify good practices and promote wine tourism as a tool for sustainable development.

The 7th UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism will be held November 22 – 24 in Logroño, Spain. Participants include government officials from international and national tourism administrations and organizations, regional and local authorities, international and national destination marketing organizations, UNWTO affiliate members, private sector representatives, wine estates, infrastructure providers and international academia.

I believe everyone in the wine tourism industry can certainly attest to Massimo Garavaglia, Italian Minister of Tourism, statement at last year’s conference, in Alba Italy: “Wine tourism is much more than just selling wine, which clearly is important.  When you sell a bottle of wine, you are selling the territory behind that bottle, the culture of that territory, the history of the men (and women) who designed these landscapes with the rows of vines.”

I have the extreme privilege of sharing insights on the topic of:

Unlocking the Benefits of Digitalization
Digital transformation can revolutionize and enhance wine tourism experiences, provide data and insights, optimize marketing strategies, and foster sustainable growth.

Conference Link: https://www.unwto.org/7-UNWTO-Global-Conference-Wine-Tourism

Hope to see you there!

Liz Palmer


 Exploring Ligurian Riviera’s Enchanting World of Vineyards and Villages – Filippo Magnani

Italy has many picturesque wine regions, but the rugged dramatic coastline known as Liguria, or the Italian Riviera, is an improbable treasure trove for the traveling wine enthusiast. Curved around the Mediterranean, the small, terraced vineyards of Liguria dot the landscape from the French border along the west coast of Italy down to the famed Cinque Terre.

The region’s geography plays a significant role in shaping the distinctive characteristics of its wines. Located between the Ligurian Sea and the Maritime Alps, it is a land of both rugged landscapes and a harmonious climate. The unique combination of warm coastal breezes and mountain influences creates an ideal environment for viticulture. The cool maritime influence helps retain acidity in the grapes, while the sun-drenched slopes provide the perfect conditions for grape ripening. The steep grades of many slopes create challenging conditions for grape growing. Some vineyards are isolated on terraces that have been carved out of the cliff and are only accessible by boat. Winemaking traditions in this area can be traced back 2500 years to the Etruscans and Greeks.

The indigenous grape varieties in Liguria have adapted to the region’s particular terroir over centuries. High concentrations of limestone give them a distinct minerality. The region produces mostly white wines (75%) and its most prominent white grape is Vermentino, referred to locally as Pigato meaning ‘spots’ that develop on the grapes as they reach maturity. This aromatic variety thrives in Liguria’s coastal areas, producing wines with vibrant acidity, crispness, and a bouquet of citrus fruits and floral notes. The best examples are praised for their refreshing and mineral-driven profiles. Vermentino is often blended with two other white grapes called Bosco and Albarola.  Bosco gives structure and richness to these wines whereas Albarola can express notes of honey, flowers and perfume especially when made in the sweet style under the unique Cinque Terre Sciacchetrà DOC. For those who like rich and charismatic white wines the Cinque Terre.

As for red wines, Rossese and Ciliegolo and Vermentino Nero take the spotlight here. They create subtle and fruity wines that can show notes of herb and spice. Rossese wines are usually light-bodied and elegant, with red fruit flavors, floral nuances and delicate tannins. These wines capture the essence of Liguria’s terroir, reflecting its maritime influence and mountainous landscapes.

When it comes to tasting Ligurian wines, visitors will also be captivated by the region’s extraordinary food. The bright acidity of the region’s white wines complements the local seafood perfectly. Their citrus notes and hints of salinity provide a delightful pairing with dishes like seafood pasta, grilled fish, or even the Ligurian specialty, pesto. For red wine enthusiasts, their signature lightness offers a pleasant balance that doesn’t overwhelm the palate. They pair excellently with Ligurian-style pizza, salted cod dishes, or even a selection of local cheeses.

Of course, a visit to Liguria would not be complete without experiencing “The Five Villages of the Cinque Terre.” This string of ancient seaside towns nestled along the rugged coastline just northwest of La Spezia have earned themselves the coveted status as a UNESCO World Heritage site as a “cultural landscape” of extraordinary value.

Monterosso al Mare is the largest of the five villages, and it is also home to the only expansive beach in the region. The village is divided into two parts: the new town, where modern buildings and amenities can be found, and the charming old town, with its narrow streets and colorful houses. Monterosso is a great place to start your Cinque Terre adventure, with plenty of hiking trails and panoramic views to enjoy.

Vernazza is considered by many to be the most picturesque of the five villages. Its colorful alleyways and charming harbor attract visitors from all over the world. Vernazza is also home to the Doria Castle, which dates back to the 15th century and offers spectacular views of the village and the sea.

Corniglia is the only village in the Cinque Terre that is not directly connected to the sea. Instead, it is perched on top of a rocky promontory, surrounded by terraced vineyards. Due to its unique position and the effort required to reach it (by climbing 377 steps), it is the least visited of the five villages, making it an ideal spot for those seeking a more tranquil experience. On the hiking path from Corniglia to Manarolo you will find one of the best local wineries, Cantina Cappellini. Here you can taste wines in the middle of the terraced vineyards with stunning views overlooking the sea. Luciano Cappellini and his family have been making remarkable examples of Cinque Terre wines for seven generations.

Manarola is a small village that exudes charm and character. Its tall, colorful houses rise up the hillside leading up to the 14th-century church of San Lorenzo. Manarola is also home to the famous Via dell’Amore (Lover’s Lane), a scenic path that connects Manarola to Riomaggiore.

Riomaggiore, the furthest south of the five villages, is a lively town with vibrant houses that cling to the steep hillside. Its bustling harbor is always busy with fishing boats that provide a steady supply of fresh seafood in its cozy restaurants. Riomaggiore is also home to the ancient Church of San Giovanni Battista which offers stunning views of the village and the sea.

Between Riomaggiore, Vernazza and S. Stefano Magra and Castelnuovo Magna, are 6 hectares of special vineyards cultivated by a talented winemaker named Walter de Battè. Leaving behind his life as a sailor he decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and take up viticulture. In 2003 Walter founded the Primaterra label with a group of friends and local experts. His philosophy is to produce wines that express the union between man, grapes and terroir. Both his whites and reds undergo considerable skin maceration to capture the unique qualities of their territory.

If you continue a little further south past La Spezia you will reach the picturesque town of Portovenere, sometimes called the “Sixth Town” of the Cinque Terre which also has UNESCO World Heritage status. Overlooking the Gulf of La Spezia you can take in the same views and archipelago that enchanted the 19th-century writer Lord Byron. The natural beauty here is truly breathtaking. Enjoy the numerous hiking trails along the coast or take a boat out to Palmaria island where you can dine at the legendary Locanda Lorena seafood restaurant. Portovenere itself also has plenty to discover, from the Doria Castle to the numerous boutique shops and restaurants offering the best of Ligurian wine and cuisine.

If you’re looking for memorable places to visit while tasting these delicious wines and local dishes, there are a few places that stand out. In the north of Cinqueterre, Portofino is a traditional fishing village with sophistication and elegance that attracts celebrities and jetsetters, but its beauty and charm make it worth the visit. For a more laid-back ambiance, the village of Santa Margherita Ligure offers just as much charm with some nice beaches that are perfect for a swim after lunch.