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Q&A with Robert Beynat, CEO of Vinexpo

We've dispatched the Lot18 curators to Bordeaux for the next several days on a quest to discover new wines. But what is Vinexpo, and what can our team hope to find? The CEO of Vinexpo, Robert Beynat, has answered some of our questions about the event and the wine world at large.

Q: What exactly is Vinexpo?

RB: Since its inception in Bordeaux, France in 1981, Vinexpo has hosted trade professionals from wine and spirits producing regions throughout the world every two years…The next Vinexpo Bordeaux opens its doors on Sunday, June 19th and will welcome around 45,000 professionals wine and spirits buyers from all over the world who are coming to discover 2,400 producers from 47 countries.

Q: Why should wine consumers care about Vinexpo?

RB: Vinexpo is for the trade and press only, and is foremost a meeting place for decision makers in the wine and spirits industry. That being said, new products are often launched at Vinexpo! All of these products presented during Vinexpo will eventually be available to consumers in places like wine shops, supermarkets and cruise ships.

Q: One of the challenges we hear about from smaller wineries is the difficulty in getting their name out to consumers. How does Vinexpo help the lesser-known vineyards and wineries?

RB: Vinexpo is an international exhibition where many producers, even smaller ones, are present through national and regional pavilions. This allows the trade to source wines that provide good value for money in markets where consumers are becoming more and more knowledgeable about wine.

Q: What do you see as the next big focus in the world of wine?

RB: The wine industry cannot escape technological developments and changes in consumption patterns, but in recent years, we have witnessed a return to authenticity. Consumers are also changing, and this trend back to “terroir" has encouraged many producers to use new technologies for packaging their products.

The globalization of wine will enable consumers to discover new products, and explore all the diversity that the wine world has to offer. Quality is more and more critical. A lot of effort is also being made in terms of wine identity, whether through its origin or its packaging. For instance, this year we are seeing varietal wines making quite a strong comeback!