2020 Coronavirus Status on 10 Global Wine & Spirits Expos
The coronavirus pandemic has brought the world to a screeching halt, and the wine industry is no exception. With coronavirus deaths in Europe surpassing those in China, and countries like Italy, France, and Spain being placed on mandated country-wide lockdowns, the Old World is feeling the heat.
While all world markets are suffering, the wine market has one benefit: wines do not have an immediate expiration date; they can be stocked, sheltered from this economic sandstorm. Wine-Searcher recently reached out to several winemakers in Italy, seeking comment on the current situation. “I feel privileged to produce red wines with aging potential,” says Winemaker Alessandro Castellani from Ca’La Bionda in Veneto, Italy. He encourages wine consumers to support their local wineries during these times. “Choose and drink good wines from small cellars.” (And might we recommend our list of 5 wine books to read on Coronavirus lockdown!)
This may be all we can do for the moment. Across the world, wine and spirits expos are being cancelled left and right. Wine enthusiasts will have to save their flight credits for a later date. Here are the latest status updates on 10 of the world’s largest wine and spirits expos that were planned to take place in 2020.
- Bordeaux en primeur (Bordeaux, France): Postponed until further notice
Bordeaux en primeur, or “wine futures,” is an event that usually takes place in April and gives wine merchants the first opportunity to taste and purchase Grand Cru Classé wines of the present vintage. The catch is that these wines will likely spend at least two more years in the barrel before they are bottled and shipped. En primeur is a Bordeaux institution, dating back to the 1855 Classification of Bordeaux. This system means that wine merchants may pay slightly less for their pre-ordered cases in order to give wine estates an up-front cash flow.
In an email to Bordeaux wine merchants, the UGCB (Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux) said that organizers are “working on solutions that will allow us to taste the 2019 vintage at a later date.”
Previous dates: March 30 – April 2, 2020
New dates: TBD
- Vinitaly (Verona, Italy): postponed until June 14-17, 2020
Vinitaly is an international wine fair that takes place every year around April in Verona, Italy. This exposition hosts more than 4,600 exhibitors from over 40 producer countries and 400 events in just 4 days. The first Vinitaly show took place in 1967. It is open solely to industry professionals, and is considered to be one of the world’s premier wine events.
The decision to postpone the event was made in coordination with the President of the Veneto Region, the Mayor of Verona, and event organizers. Pre-purchased tickets will be honored for the new dates.
Previous Dates: April 19-22, 2020
New Dates: June 14-17, 2020
- Vinexpo (Hong Kong): Postponed until July 8-10, 2020
This event showcases exhibitors from all aspects of the wine industry, from wine and spirits producers, merchants, trade associations, wine cooperatives, etc. The majority of the nearly 16,000 visitors come from China and Hong Kong, and 72% of attendees make a wine or spirits purchase. The event for industry professionals has been rescheduled and will take place at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Previous Dates: May 26-28, 2020
New Dates: July 8-10, 2020
- London Wine Fair (London, UK): Postponed until further notice
The London Wine Fair features over 14,000 wines from 32 countries and more than 80 masterclasses. It takes place at Olympia London. Tickets are reserved for industry professionals, and are free for anyone working in the on-trade (i.e. restaurants) or the off-trade industries (i.e. wine retail shops). However, tickets sales are currently on hold until further notice from the event organizers.
Previous Dates: May 18-20, 2020
New Dates: TBD
- Vinoble 2020 (Andalusia, Spain): Dates maintained
Vinoble 2020 is a wine exposition that focuses on Sherry (Jerez) wines, liqueurs, and special sweet wines. It takes place in the town of Jerez de la Frontera in Northwestern Spain. This city, besides being known for its Sherry wines, is also known as being the city where flamenco originated. The vast majority of producers represented are from Spain, with a few producers from France, Greece, Georgia, the US, Italy and Portugal. Vinoble 2020 is reserved for industry professionals.
Dates: May 24-26, 2020
- ProWein (Düsseldorf, Germany): Postponed until March 21-23, 2021
ProWein is one of the world’s busiest expositions in the international wine and spirits sector, showcasing over 6,870 exhibitors from 64 countries, and hosting 60,000 professionals seeking to taste and place orders. The main countries represented among exhibitors are Italy and France, followed by Germany, the New World, Austria, Spain, and Portugal. The event is being postponed until next year.
Previous Dates: March 15-17, 2020
New Dates: March 21-23, 2021
- Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Fair (Hong Kong): Dates maintained
This fair showcases wine, beer, and spirits from Hong Kong and Asia, and draws around 1,000 exhibitors and 20,000 visitors from over 75 countries. It is set to take place in Hong Kong at the beginning of November as planned.
Dates: November 5-7, 2020
- Vinorus (Krasnodar, Russia): Postponed until June 17-19, 2020
This year will mark the 23rd annual Vinorus exhibition of wines, alcoholic beverages, and materials for viticulture. Vinorus hosts 5000 visitors each year, and exhibitors are mostly Russian with some representation from Armenia, Italy, and France.
Previous Dates: April 23-25, 2020
New Dates: June 17-19, 2020
- VINEX (Brno, Czech Republic): Postponed until November 19-21, 2020
VINEX is part of the SALIMA food expo, which hosts around 25,000 visitors and nearly 900 exhibitors from 39 countries. Visitors have the opportunity to judge wines and beers during tastings. It aims to showcase wines from the Central European markets.
Previous Dates: April 20-23, 2020
New Dates: November 19-21, 2020
- Rhum Fest Paris (Paris, France): Postponed until July 18-20, 2020
Rhum Fest Paris is an event that gathers over 190 rum references from over 60 countries. The 2020 theme is “The Art of Rum: distillation.” There will be tasting classes, workshops, and bars set up throughout the grounds of Vincennes Parc Floral. The festival is open to the public during the weekend (July 18-19), and the last day of the festival, Monday July 20, is reserved for industry professionals.
Previous Dates: April 25-27, 2020
New Dates: July 18-20, 2020