Allegrini 2018

Vinexpo Paris: wine trends, sustainability, fear of US duties and Brexit at the center of attention

While in France, too, topicality prevails, Italy explores the French market where, surprisingly, Prosecco is booming

The trends in wine consumption worldwide, the great theme of sustainability declined in many ways by leading brands, the fear of US duties, but also the uncertainties of Brexit: these are the themes that dominate at Vinexpo Paris, edition no. 1 of the new event signed by Vinexpo, in synergy with Wine Paris, on stage in the capital of France, from yesterday to February 12. To shed light on the trends, yesterday the analysis presented by Wine Intelligence and International Wine & Spirits Research (Iwsr).
Analyses that confirm a growth in the search for quality not only in wine, but also in spirits, with consumers, especially young people, who are more and more oriented towards “less but better” drinking. With growing importance of everything that, along the supply chain, means protecting the environment. And, not surprisingly, two of the reference “places” of Vinexpo Paris n. 1 (which enjoys the patronage of the French president Macron), are “Wow - World of Organic Wine”, a space dedicated to organic and sustainable wine, and “Be Spirits”, an area dedicated to all the novelties of the alcoholic beverage.
Among the other trends reported, the growth of the rosé phenomenon continues, which from wine and sparkling wines is increasingly extending to other categories such as gin and cider, and is becoming an increasingly important drinking trend in markets such as the USA, UK and Canada, where the consumption of rosé wines, for example, in 10 years has grown in percentages between +36% and +50%. While, paradoxically, Wine Intelligence points out that in the world there is a growing demand for wine culture, with the multiplication of schools and dedicated courses but, at the same time, consumers, especially young people, know less and less about it, even though they say they are fascinated by the nectar of Bacchus.
But current events also prevail, which unfortunately means US duties and Brexit. On the American front, waiting to know, in the next few days, whether there will be a crackdown on European wines, with the risk of duties of up to 100%, which would mean a catastrophe, even for Italy, the French are facing 25% duties introduced since October on still wines, which according to various estimates, in the last two months of the year, have led to a collapse in American imports of French still wines, between -35% and -40% in value. But among producers, the concern is also palpable on the Brexit front, waiting to understand how relations between European producer countries and the United Kingdom will be regulated from now on. Besides, for France, the UK market means 1.3 billion of exports between wine and spirits, and it’s natural that great attention is paid to it. Especially after that, according to the latest data from the Wine & Spirit Trade Association and Wine Drinkers UK, the average price of a bottle of wine in the UK for the first time could exceed the psychological threshold of 6 pounds. Which, according to Kantar’s research, would mean that 54% of British people who buy wine in supermarkets simply risk leaving the market.
A picture in very black shades, therefore, that also frightens Italy, which has its third foreign reference market in the UK (and which, at the Paris event, does not boast a massive presence, as on other occasions, with the most relevant realities that are, among others, the Consorzio del Prosecco Doc and that of Prosecco di Conegliano e Valdobbiadene Docg, Italia del Vino Consorzio, Consorzio del Chianti Classico, Consorzio del Pinot Grigio delle Venezie, Farnese Group, Italian Signature Wines Academy, Leonardo Da Vinci Spa, Cantina Settesoli, Santero and Tenute Piccini, at the center of many meetings and Masterclasses, while today there will be the first time in Paris of the Tre Bicchieri of the Gambero Rosso, ed).
Italy, however, at least on the sparkling wine front, can console itself with France’s Champagne, thanks to Prosecco: for the great Doc, the French one, as told to WineNews by Denis Pantini (Nomisma Wine Monitor), has even become the fourth absolute market, while for the Docg, explains the Consortium, it is estimated that exports to France have grown at an average of 21% per year over the last 5 years. But over and above consumption and market trends, as mentioned above, one of the great issues facing the wine industry is sustainability, at the center of many Vinexpo Paris events and focuses. And above all, the dense cycle of focus and conferences set up throughout the three days of the event by French wine (and luxury) giant Lvmh, with the wine and spirits division Moët Hennessy (with brands such as Hennessy, Moët & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot, Dom Pérignon, Ruinart, Krug, among others), who called together producers, researchers and experts from all over the world to talk about the fight against climate change, sustainability certifications, soil protection, but also about the future of wine in haute cuisine, with the opinion, decidedly authoritative, of one of the greatest chefs in the world, Monsieur Alain Ducasse.

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