Serious wine importers say “we don’t go to large trade fairs – waste of time!

8 04 2009

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Recent large trade fairs such as ProWein and Vinitaly are great places to visit if, according to The Tasting Note “you make poor wine or you are a large producer with a fat wallet “There are a lot of big, fancy stands at Vinitaly. Some are there because the wines are crap and they think that by putting on a big show, people will come to them. Others are big because their wines are brilliant, they have made a lot of money and they can afford to put on a big, professional looking display“.

My experience of attending large wine trade fairs ranges from – great place to go for free drinks and food in my younger years to not such a great place for playing hide and seek with small boutique wineries. Nowadays, I find large trade fairs tiring, time consuming, expensive, stressful and highly impersonal and consequently, generally tend to stay clear of them.workshop-casa-gran

Fortunately for the small to medium sized boutique winery there now exists a host of small, stress free, highly personalised events for wineries to get to know small to medium sized serious wine buyers. By small to medium sized buyers I mean they would be looking to order 1-2 pallets a year.

One such event is the Wine Pleasures Workshop Buyer meets Italian Cellar coming up in May (18 – 20) at the Villa Pace Park Hotel Bolognese in Treviso where producers schedule pre-arranged meetings with carefully selected buyers so that when the event begins both have a schedule of mutually agreed meetings.

RMB Associates, buyers for both the US and Canadian market clearly found what they were looking for at a recent Wine Pleasures Workshop.

C & J Fine Wines based in Manchester  look set to participate in the Italian workshop and are specifically looking out for a Pinot Grigio wine.

Neither companies of course attended Vinitaly or will be attending London Wine.

Here are some buyer comments given in recent interviews comparing the workshop methodology to a large trade fair:

Highly personalised allowing you to make personal relationships with the winemakers – not just taste the wines

You spend a lot of time with the wineries – you dine with them, see them in the hotel, have a laugh with them and of course meet them and get the opportunity to taste their wines several times over two days

It’s a cost effective way of making purchase decisions – we don’t go to large trade fairs – waste of time!

At trade fairs there is not enough time to get to know the people, just taste the wines. At the workshop you get to know the people, which is important if we are to sell their wines.

Another interesting boutique wine event coming up for wine buyers, again in Italy in June is Terroir Vino 2009. Not just any winery can participate in this event. Wineries must first get into a quality circle by having their wines tasted by a panel – if the quality is good then they are in and able to participate in Terroir Vino. Date for this event is Monday 15 June.

Small wine producers and small wine importers do look out for the small boutique events for export/purchase opportunities. They should certainly prove to be an effective alternative to the large trade fair circuit.

I’d like to end with a quote from a wine importer based in Belgium but buying not only for the Belgium market but also, France, Luxembourg and Switzerland:

“It is to my opinion the better way to make assessed purchase decisions. Properly organised workshops with screened buyers and producers that are away from the fairs for the masses allow for time to discuss actual business rather then uselessly shaking hands and putting up smiles. A much more competence oriented way of doing business in a relaxed and convivial but professional atmosphere”. Gusto World by Creative.

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Buyer meets Italian Cellar – an alternative to VINITALY for passionate producers and serious buyers

2 04 2009

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vinitaly vs winepleasuresThere will be, as in previous years a lot of big, fancy stands at Vinitaly (just as there is in Alimentaria and Fenavin). Some are there because the wines are poor and they think that by putting on a big show, people will come to them. Others are big because their wines are brilliant, they have made a lot of money and they can afford to put on a big, professional looking display. Some small producers, feeling the wrath of the Vinitaly stand fees are there too  – If you are a serious buyer Good luck to you if you can find them! Look for Azienda Luigi Jones in Row D, Isle 5, Row 7, Stand 24, Section 8C, Booth 3, Table 13 – let us know what you think of their Prosecco Extra Dry if you find them!

wine-pleasures-raventos-rosellNow small to medium sized boutique wineries have a workshop event to look forward to in May – Wine Pleasures Workshop Buyer meets Italian Cellar where wineries can meet small to medium sized importers (orders of 2-4 pallets of wine per year) in  one to one pre-scheduled private meetings. Here’s what buyers had to say about the recent workshop event for Spanish wineries:

Highly personalised allowing you to make personal relationships with the winemakers – not just taste the wines

You spend a lot of time with the wineries – you dine with them, see them in the hotel, have a laugh with them and of course meet them and get the opportunity to taste their wines several times over two days

It’s a cost effective way of making purchase decisions – we don’t go to large trade fairs – waste of time!

At trade fairs there is not enough time to get to know the people, just taste the wines. At the workshop you get to know the people, which is important if we are to sell their wines.

If you are a small to medium sized boutique Italian winery then you might want to consider the Wine Pleasures Workshop.  Just complete the enrollment form.wine-pleasures-workshop-16

If you are an exhausted and stressed out buyer attending or having attended Vinitaly or ProWein and didn’t find what you were looking for then RELAX! Feel free to come and join us in Treviso, close to Venice for the 1st edition of the Wine Pleasures Workshop Buyer meets Italian Cellar Just complete the  enrollment form

As from today we will be featuring participating wineries in the Buyer meets Italian workshop event so please visit our blog on a daily basis for news and updates. First winery to be featured  will be Poggio al Santino (Toscana).