The first-ever Vinexpo Americas will feature 700 exhibitors from 25 countries, and expects 12,000 to 15,000 visitors, chief executive Robert Beynat told a press conference on Wednesday.

Already, 4,117 wine professionals from 36 states and Canada have registered for international wine and spirits show, set for 22-24 October in Manhattan, Beynat told principals in New York’s wine trade.

Beynat indicated that Vinexpo Americas, an organization 88 per cent owned by Vinexpo Bordeaux and the rest by North Americans, expected a sellout. The show will be held at the Jacob K Javits Convention Center, on Manhattan’s West Side, not far from the site of the destroyed World Trade Center. Javits personnel would provide tight security for visitors such as retailers, wholesalers, importers, restaurateurs, sommeliers and exhibitors.

Vinexpo Americas, like its Bordeaux version and three counterparts held in Asia, is limited to the trade and closed to the public. It will feature 35 to 40 programs. One hot ticket will be a seminar featuring critic Robert Parker and Bordeaux winemaker Michel Rolland on great Bordeaux wines of the last 20 years. Other debates and seminars will be announced in due course, organisers say.

Tastings will be arranged by the Unions des Grand Crus de Bordeaux and American Sommelier Society.

Among companies participating will be Brown Forman, Diageo, Gallo, Kendall Jackson, Concha y Toro, Miguel Torres, Louis Jadot, Taittinger and Zonin. Pavilions will be sponsored by, among others, Austria, Germany, Australia, Argentina, Spain, Portugual, South Africa and Uruguay.

The organisers are investing about US$3m (€3.04m) in the show, and the exhibitors about US$9m (€9.12m), Vinexpo Americas said.

In explaining why North America was chosen, Beynat said that in the United States wine consumption has expanded from 2 to 5 percent a year since 1995, and that spirits consumption has risen nearly 7 percent in that period.

Of the 60,000-plus wine and spirits professionals in North America, 1,000 attended Bordeaux Vinexpo in 2001. Vinexpo Americas said it was ‘targeting a much larger audience.’

vinexpo.com

Written by Howard G Goldberg in New York12 July 2002