Vinexpo made its debut in New York on March 5 and 6, with about 500 exhibitors from 23 countries. About 3500 people attended, including moi with my husband (who doubles as a PWZ photographer). Provence WineZine writer Jerry Clark also attended, in the role of taster for a New Hampshire-based importer. Organizers deemed the event an “extraordinary success” and are making plans to return next year to the same venue, New York’s Javits Center, on March 4 and 5.
Have a 360º look at Vinexpo at the end of the day. Use your mouse or finger to rotate for a 360º view.
Vinexpo was conceived in 1981 with the express purpose of “organizing wine and spirits events for the trade and act as the sector’s international partner,” according to a March 7, 2018 Press Release. On uneven years, Vinexpo takes place in Bordeaux and, on even years since 1998, it takes place in Hong Kong. With the U.S. having earned the status as the country that drinks more wine than any other country and one with strong interest in imported wines, particularly among millennials, the U.S. market is especially significant.
About 160 French wineries were represented at the event, of which just a handful came from Provence and about 30 from the Southern Rhône Valley.
Highlights from my two days at Vinexpo New York 2018 include learning more about International Rosé Day from Valérie Rousselle, owner of Château Roubine and Château Sainte-Béatrice and founder of this recently established International Rosé Day, to be held around the world on June 22. At 7:00 p.m. /19H (French time), Rousselle hopes that we all will lift our glasses of rosé to toast this shade of wine. The impetus for this day may come from the vineyards of Provence but Rousselle told me that it is a celebration of all rosés, wherever they may hail from in the world! More on International Rosé Day in an upcoming article, but do mark it on your calendars.
At Vinexpo New York, there were many rosés to whet one’s appetite for the International Rosé Day on June 22. I focused on the 2017 roses from Provence and the Rhône and I can confidently report that they are terrific. After a very stressful year, marred by drought and bouts of frost in April—leading to historically low productions—the vineyard managers and winemakers were able to eke out a brilliant recovery. The evidence is in the glass: nice fruit, fully integrated and resulting in well-balanced roses that are crisp and fresh with a dash of minerality. There seems to be a slightly greater diversity in color, too.
As I noted at Millésime Bio in February 2018, white wine from both Provence and the southern Rhône Valley seems to be enjoying a bit of a renaissance. I couldn’t be more pleased with this observation. I only tasted reds from the Rhône Valley and found, not surprisingly, that many could benefit from a few more years in the cellar (and I would love to stash away some to see for sure). I noted nice structure, good tannins, good fruit and a lot of terroir, all boding well for the near future. I’m told the 2017 vintage (to be released later, of course) has great promise.
There was a long list of interesting Master Classes and Conference Sessions. I managed to get into one—A Deep Dive into the Grenache Variety of the Southern Rhône Crus presented by Christophe Tassan, Sommelier & Rhône Ambassador—which was very informative. Do you know why Vinsobres only makes AOP red wine? Unfortunately, advance registration was not possible for the presentations and thus, there were long lines to stand in, requiring at least 45 minutes wait time (which I just didn’t have!).
With 23 countries represented at Vinexpo, we just had to taste a few wines outside of our area of responsibility (Provence and the southern Rhône Valley). What a treat to learn more about wine from Moldova, a country noted for having the largest wine cellar in the world. We enjoyed their wine so much that we are considering a visit to this country, the least visited one in Europe! I was particularly enchanted by an ice wine produced by Castel Mimi from Riesling grapes.
Wines from Switzerland also caught our attention. I tasted my first Oeil de Perdrix—if they are all as good as this one produced by Domaine de Montmollin, I am smitten.
Finally, we tasted a semi-sweet Spanish rosé called Cric which, surprisingly as I am a dry-only rosé fan, I found interesting and a good candidate to serve friends and family who prefer a slightly sweet rosé.
So many wines, so little time. Looking forward to next year! Registration for next year’s Vinexpo New York opens in September 2018.
Vinexpo New York Event at Javits Center
New York City – Javits Center