Unmissable spirits brands at Vinexpo Paris

5th February, 2020 by admin

The spirits industry will be well represented at the debut Vinexpo Paris event – and if all goes well, next year could see a spin-off show solely dedicated to the distilled sector. We highlight the brands to look out for.

It was November 2017 when Vinexpo revealed its intention to launch a wine and spirits show in the French capital. The inaugural Parisian event is now just around the corner, and a lot has changed in the past two years – with even more to come in the next 12 months.

The trade show has had a new leader at its helm since 2019 – Rodolphe Lameyse – who took over as CEO last April following the departure of Guillaume Deglise in May 2018. Originally scheduled for January 2020, the show was moved to February after partnering with Wine Paris.

Vinexpo Paris will take place from 10‐12 February at the Paris Expo, Porte de Versailles, under the patronage of French president Emmanuel Macron. Last year, Lameyse told The Spirits Business that spirits would become a greater focus for the show – and he has stayed true to his word.

The Paris event will be the first time there has been a dedicated area for spirits and the on‐trade, “an event within an event”, according to the show’s organisers. Called Be Spirits, the concept has been given its own identity and setting, and will aim to attract importers, distributors, buyers, media, e‐commerce brands, travel retailers, restaurant chains, and more. It will deliver a 50/50 split between French and international spirits brands, says Lameyse.

A key feature of the Be Spirits area will be The Infinite Bar, which will be 40 metres long. The bar will showcase 24 spirits brands in partnership with 24 bartenders from 20 bars around Paris. Current and future trends will be highlighted in the bar’s offerings, allowing guests the chance to discover new products, sample a wide assortment of cocktails and meet some of Europe’s best bartenders.

“We believe we are able to compete and build a platform for spirits,” says Lameyse. “Paris is the first time we will create a zone within the show fully dedicated to spirits; it’s not going to be in the corner for Cognac. We will have many different brands. It’s all about experience.”

This experience will transition from day to night, as Vinexpo has ensured the spirits used behind The Infinite Bar will be available in leading Parisian venues after the show. A city map will show the location of the partner bars so guests can seek them out after the event to continue their “immersive experience” in the evening.

Teeling is one brand that has previously flown the spirits flag at Vinexpo

Visitors to the Be Spirits section will also discover a series of conferences to take part in, divided into two themes: Be Mixology and Be Brand.

Be Mixology will offer a series of seminars analysing existing and future key trends sure to shape the coming years of the industry. Among these will be discussions about the growing popularity of low‐ and no‐alcohol, the cocktail consumption experience and bar identity. Meanwhile, Be Brand talks will explore the revival of ancient liquor, brands’ commitment to the environment, and the development of new spirits brands and customised products.

Several experts have been lined up to moderate these discussions, including: Alexandre Vingtier, internationally renowned spirits expert; Christopher Gaglione, bar manager at the Solera bar in Paris; Marlène Staiger and Camille Hedin, founders of French liqueur brand H Theoria; and Paul Bungener, international ambassador for Fairtrade spirits brand Fair.

If all goes to plan, Lameyse plans to turn Be Spirits into its own “spin‐off” show in 2021. “We will make more and more room [for spirits], and I hope there’s going to be positive feedback from the industry,” Lameyse told The Spirits Business last year.

“If there’s an opportunity to have a spin‐off show for spirits, that is something we will look at.” And it would seem the idea for a spirits‐only show has already progressed since then.

In a media update in London last month, Lameyse confirmed his aspirations to make Be Spirits into its own show.

“Spirits are interesting; it’s a big focus for us in terms of what we want to develop,” he says. “First, we have this first Be Spirits in Paris, and we will replicate it in Hong Kong [in May 2020]. Then we will think about a spirits show in 2021.” He confirmed the show would be called Be Spirits.

As well as Be Spirits, there will be an additional focus on distilled products at Vinexpo’s World of Organic Wines (WOW!) area. First introduced in 2017, the section will celebrate more than 150 producers of biodynamic or organic wines – and, for Vinexpo Paris 2020, organic spirits.

Click through the following pages for a closer look at some key brands to look out for at the maiden Vinexpo Paris event.

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