Bordeaux Wine Week 2022 – The Innovative Event's Successful Debut!

6 Jul 2022

The debut of the Bordeaux Wine Week was a resounding success. It was held as a live event between 16.06.2022 and 26.06.2022 in Bordeaux, France. It comprised various co-located events and novel additions distributed between diverse venues. Each event within the programme featured a relatively high participation rate. For instance, the Bordeaux Wine Festival, which was part of the event, received 35,000 attendees. The collaborative initiative did not include strict Covid-19 safety measures.

Bordeaux Wine Week 2022 did not feature strict Covid-19 safety measures. This was due to the improving pandemic situation. The hosting locales for the event included the Cite du Vin, Hangar 14, the Bordeaux Quayside, and other iconic locations. The highlights of the Bordeaux Wine Week were:

  • The Bordeaux Wine Festival
  • The Bordeaux Grands Crus Weekend
  • The “Picasso, the effervescence of shapes” exhibition
  • The “Act for Change” Symposium
  • The WOW! Meetings

Each highlight focused on a different aspect of the wine and spirits industry and a specific participant group. Examples include the Symposium, which focused on experts and industry members. It also discussed topics such as the latest challenges and consumer trends.

Each of the highlights featured in the Bordeaux Wine Week 2022 took place on specific dates. For instance, “Picasso, the effervescence of shapes” occurred between 15.04.2022 and 28.08.2022. It preceded and continued after the official event dates. It featured over 80 famous works created by Pablo Picasso that address wine and spirits. These ranged from paintings, drawings, and ceramics to film. The curator was Stephane Guégan, an author of 19th and 20th-century art literature. The expert was invited as the curator due to their extensive experience. They have for example curated the Le modèle noir de Géricault à Matisse and Toulouse-Lautec exhibitions. Furthermore, the curator has dedicated several of their books to Pablo Picasso. The exhibition featured works from private collections as well as from the Picasso museums in Paris and Barcelona.

The Bordeaux Grands Crus weekend occurred between 17.06.2022 and 19.06.2022. It was organised by the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux. It enabled attendees to learn and sample 120 Bordeaux Grands Crus. They could, for the task, visit properties and attend tastings and chateaux dinners. The programme featured five micro-events:

  • Exclusive Grands Crus Dinners
  • Grands Crus Evening
  • Wine Tasting in Hangar 14
  • Grand Saint-Emilionnais Golf Club
  • Vineyard tours

The Exclusive Grands Crus Dinners or Dîners Passion dans les Propriétés took place on 17.06.2022. They allowed attendees to attend casual-chic dinners at selected chateaux. The vineyards which served as the hosting locations for the evening galas were:

  • Château Lynch-Bages
  • Château Beychevelle
  • Château Latour-Martillac
  • Château de Lamarque

During the dinner evenings, attendees could sample wines from vineyards such as:

  • Château Malartic-Lagravière
  • Château Clinet
  • Château Ormes de Pez
  • Château Lynch-Bages
  • Château Coutet
  • Château Smith Haut Lafitte
  • Château Canon-La-Gaffelière

18.06.2022 was the hosting day for two micro-events. These were the Grands Crus Evening or Soirée Grands Crus and the La Grande Dégustation or Wine Tasting in Hangar 14. The Grands Crus Evening featured a detailed programme. It enabled visitors to enjoy old vintages in a relaxed atmosphere. This included a cocktail reception and Sauternes Bar. The Wine Tasting in Hanger 14 incorporated two masterclasses:

  • Fabrice Sommier: Titre de Meilleur Ouvrier de France en Sommellerie en 2006 : Les Grands Crus de Bordeaux dans la vie d'un sommelier. (Fabrice Sommier: France in Sommellerie in 2006: The Grands Crus of Bordeaux in the life of a sommelier.)
  • L'influence des verres sur la perception du vin. Repartez avec un set de dégustation Riedel. (The influence of glasses on the perception of wine. Leave with a Riedel tasting set.)

These featured speakers, such as Alexia Duchêne, Emeline Aubry, Julia de Laguarigue and Vivien Durand. The La Grande Dégustation also featured a nautical escapade on the Garonne. Attendees could select one of 2 available boats and travel along the Garonne and Bordeaux Quays. The departure took place from the Chartrons Pontoon.

19.06.2022 marked the hosting date for the Grand Saint-Emilionnais Golf Club and the Vineyard tours. The Golf Club allowed attendees to enjoy an active outdoor day. It comprised a golf tournament complemented by a shotgun and scramble part. Attendees could receive prizes during the dessert time section of the lunch. The Vineyard tours were composed of two guided tours. These were the Circuit Rive Droite (Right Bank Tour) and the Circuit Graves & Sauternes (Graves & Sauternes Tour). Each of the variants allowed attendees to visit three chateaux. The Circuit Rive, for instance, guided visitors on a tour of the vineyards:

  • Château Beauregard
  • Château La Tour Figeac
  • Château Balestard La Tonnelle

The Graves & Sauternes Tour allowed attendees to visit the chateaux:

  • Château Sigalas-Rabaud
  • Château Olivier
  • Château La Louvière

The “Act for Change” Symposium occurred between 20.06.2022 and 21.06.2022 at the Cite du Vin. It allowed industry experts and members to discuss topics like the upcoming prime developments. They also discussed the impact of such changes on the production and distribution of wine and spirits until 2030. The first day of the Symposium focused on upcoming essential changes, such as climate change. The second day addressed the role of innovations in altering winery and vineyard practices. It further debated the revolution of spirits and wine distribution. The Symposium was held in the Thomas Jefferson auditorium of the venue. The highlights of the programme were:

  • What is the future of fine wines?
  • Which organoleptic features would customers choose in 2030?
  • Which packaging will customers prefer by 2030?What are the implications of climate change for wine-growing?
  • Wine and spirits and digitalisation
  • What advances might we expect in production and agroecology in the future?
  • Which elements will impact the wine and spirits industry in 2030?
  • Wine and spirits forecast for 2030 – e-commerce or ultra-local

Leading speakers such as Oliver Bernard and Lulie Halstaed addressed each topic.

Hangar 14 served as the setting for another highlight – the Vinexpo Meetings. It took place between 22.06.2022 and 23.06.2022. It was one of the two sub-events held by the Vinexposium, with the other being the “Act for Change” Symposium. It was dedicated to environmentally certified spirits and wines. Furthermore, it featured a strict B-to-B format. The exhibiting companies included Tenuta Santa Cecilia and BARSALOU Famille & Domaines.

The Bordeaux Wine Festival (Bordeaux Fête le Vin) marked the ending phase of the event. The sub-event took place between 23.06.2022 and 26.06.2022 along the Bordeaux Quayside. It featured an open-air wine route that presented various vintages. Many of the displayed wines and spirits were environmentally certified or produced organically. The Wine Route featured 1,200 winegrowers and merchants. These were distributed in 8 pavilions and 80 appellations. Completing the Route were a variety of other micro-events. Examples include the “Paroles de Négociants” and the Mimillésime family pavilion. The family pavilion featured educational sessions that allowed young oenologists to learn about several aspects. Another notable complementary micro-event was the ships docked at Bordeaux’s Quay. They included the “Belem”. They also featured a replica of the “Victoria”, known as the “Nao Victoria”. Completing the set was the “Thalassa”, a 50-metre-long luxury sailing ship.

Another notable highlight of the Bordeaux Wine Festival was the guest country of honour, Brussels. It was presented through various support programme features at the Brussels Village. These included the Best Prawn Croquette Competition, the La Fruitière and the Fripon. The Competition allowed attendees to sample prawn croquettes, prepared by chef Fernand Obb. The La Fruitière was hosted by the winner of “Best Cheese Maker in Belgium” Véronique Socié. It comprised a blend between a cheese shop and a cheese bar. During the hosting, they presented and served well-sourced dairy products. Attendees had the option to sample the wares at a dedicated tasting space. The Fripon was the location for sampling traditional Belgium dishes. These were crafted in a simplistic yet sophisticated style using organic products.

Bordeaux Wine Week’s debut edition marked the successful start of the event. This is due to each of its positive reception within the industry and the relatively high participation rate of each sub-event. For instance, the Bordeaux Fête le Vin received 35,000 attendees and featured 1,200 winegrowers and merchants. The Vinexpo Meetings included 200 winemakers and over 1,000 decision-makers.