PORTLAND, Maine – Feb. 15, 2022 – With less than one month to go before Vinexpo America and Drinks America bring the world’s wine and spirits trade together at New York’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, March 9-10, organizers for the joint trade-only expos are putting the finishing touches on a robust schedule of educational programming and networking opportunities. Just announced are a lineup of thought-provoking sessions at The Buzz, and the addition of three master classes that will take attendees on a deep dive into the wines of Chile, Provence and the Czech Republic, respectively.
The full schedule of conferences and master classes continues to be refined. Here are the latest additions and developments:
Master class news
A new master class presented by ProChile will explore the country’s most representative wines and distinctive terroirs from north to south in Wines of Chile: Flagship, signature and discovery varieties. Keith Beavers, tastings director at Vinepair, will lead the session, which will also feature Lydia Richards, founder of Vino Concierge and a Wine Enthusiast “40 under 40 Tastemaker 2021” and Juan Pablo Escobar, wine director at Babbo Enoteca & Restaurant, NYC. Also added to the schedule are master classes on the wines of Provence and The Czech Republic, with more details forthcoming.
These latest master classes join five previously announced sessions: a deep dive into Japanese alcohol including and beyond sake, the introduction of Alliance Les Crus Bourgeois du Médoc’s 2020 Classification, two sessions exploring the wines of the Northern and Southern Rhône Valley, respectively, and a presentation of RIEDEL’s seven-glass Winewings collection.
Conference session updates
Attendees seeking to chart a more successful career path will come away with useful insights from a conference hosted by the Wine and Spirits Education Trust entitled Pivot, Adapt and Innovate: Navigating Your Career in the Wine & Spirits Industry Beyond COVID. WSET provides best-in-class education and qualifications—globally recognized as the international standard—for wine and spirits professionals and enthusiasts.
In a change of speakers, Understanding US Beverage Alcohol Trends and the Drivers of Future Consumption, a conference session presented by The IWSR, will now be led by Mariana Fletcher, head of insights and analytics.
Additional conferences include a panel on wine and spirits sales in a post-pandemic world, presented by Wine Spectator & Whisky Advocate, and presentation by Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University on finding and choosing import and distribution partners.
Business France partnership with wine expert Christy Canterbury
Wine expert Christy Canterbury, MW, is partnering with exhibitor Business France to showcase the diversity, savoir-faire and values of French wine. Canterbury has sampled 98 exhibitor products and will single out several dozen for awards in a dedicated area at the Business France booth. The seventh woman in the U.S. to earn the MW title, Canterbury will also host a session of The Buzz on sustainability in French wines. The interactive program will detail how to translate the value of sustainably produced French wines to the increasingly eco-conscious U.S. consumer.
Canterbury is a sought-after speaker and media host, writer and editor. She has directed extensive wine programs for fine dining restaurant groups from Smith & Wollensky to Culinary Concepts by Jean-George Vongerichten.
“The Buzz” returns
Canterbury’s session on sustainable French wines is just one of numerous educational opportunities planned for The Buzz, the expo’s dedicated, informal space for networking and knowledge exchange. MHW Ltd. will host two hot-topic sessions—one on dismantling misconceptions in consumption, distribution and channel strategy and the other on navigating supply chain disruptions. BevZero will offer insights on the relevance and growing trend of low/no alcohol in the market, while Liv-ex: The Fine Wine Marketplace will address how technology is creating new opportunities for wine businesses. WSET will also host a session on the organization’s latest offerings.
More than 300 exhibitors from 29 countries are slated to showcase a broad spectrum of products at Vinexpo America and Drinks America. Many are taking advantage of the opportunity to launch or expand their U.S. presence after two years of global disruption. Among these is the U.K.’s Cotswolds Distillery, whose ambitious plans to grow its U.S. distribution and product releases in the U.S. were thwarted by the pandemic. “We had no choice but to halt everything and we are now using Drinks America as the platform to showcase the breadth of our distillery,” said Brett Silverstein, head of U.S. sales. At Drinks America, the distillery will emphasize its Cask Strength Series, a collection of four single malt whiskies, and the expansion of its gin collection in the U.S. to include an Old Tom Gin and Christmas Gin. Silverstein also reports that the distillery’s low/no alcohol gin alternative, Gin Essence, has gained approval for import to the U.S., with a release date still to be announced.
CR Citrus, a California-based purveyor of sliced and smoked fruits ideal for use in cocktails, will share a booth with La Gritona, a woman-owned distillery in the Jalisco, Mexico highlands that produces a 100% de agave tequila, La Gritona Reposado. Bottles are hand blown from recycled Mexican Coke bottles. La Gritona is imported in the U.S. by T Edward Wines. Founder Daniel (“Connie”) Hare of CR Citrus emphasizes his company’s “grove to glass” process, sourcing imperfect fruits from local farmers—lemons, limes, oranges, pomelos and cherries—that he then smokes at home and sells for drinks, snacking, charcuterie boards and more.
Benchmark Wine Group CEO and owner David A. Parker will attend Vinexpo America “to broaden our connections with top brands and emerging producers and learn more about especially high-end products as we continue to expand our rare wine import, distribution and DTC business.” He adds, “It will provide a great opportunity to discuss emerging methods to bring those rare products directly to the buyers who value it most throughout the U.S.”
Beverage innovator BevZero will showcase a selection of high-quality branded and white label non-alcoholic wines from wine-growing regions in California, Spain and South America.
Switzerland’s Fire & Ice Beverages AG Company returns to Vinexpo with its Swiss-quality unique spirits—spanning vodkas, gins, whisky and tequila and sold in more than 40 countries around the world.
The Wines of Brazil will showcase five wineries: Casa Valduga, CRS Brands, Garibaldi, Miolo and Salton at Vinexpo America. The U.S. is a main export target, particularly for the project’s flagship—Brazilian sparkling wine.
USA Wine West, LLC., will feature a broad range of “some of the best wine and spirits in the world,” according to Steve Melchiskey, president. Among the highlights on the wine side: Alma Carraovejas’ pre-phylloxera verdejos and Bodega Enate’s Crianzas and Reservas from Spain; Graham Beck’s Methode Champenoise line of sparkling wines and Spier Wine Farm’s Million Tree project in South Africa; Ant Moore’s Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs, which Melchiskey calls “razor-focused,”; Scarpetta’s line of hand-selected Italian wines, Schild Estate’s Australian Barossa “gems”; and Share a Splash’s Sonoma County Angels and Cowboys lineup. A sampling from the spirits side of the booth: Irish whiskey and gin producer Ahascragh Distillery, The Wild Geese Irish Soldiers and Heroes line of whisky and rum, and more.
Making its debut in New York is Alvarez Mattiuzzi Vineyard’s REGIS Boutique Wines. A family project of Ricardo Alvarez and his wife, Gloria Mattiuzzi, the vineyard has been producing wines in Argentina’s Uco Valley since 2014. Its REGIS line is a young and opulent red, wine barrel fermented and co-fermented in first-use French oak barrels for 18 months. It includes a Gran Reserva Malbec and Gran Reserva Blend—both gold medalists at the 2021 Texas International Wine Competition, bronze medal-winning Gran Reserva Cabernet Franc, and a 2019 Syrah Reserva and aged barrel 2020 Chardonnay. All are distributed in the U.S. exclusively through the owners.
For information regarding COVID-19 protocols required by the City of New York and the Javits Convention Center, please reference the safety plan posted on the Vinexpo America and Drinks America websites.
Owned jointly by Comexposium and Vinexpo Holding, Vinexposium is the world’s leading organizer of wine and spirits trade events. Vinexposium offers an enhanced range of high-performance events, tailored to different market segments, with a portfolio of iconic and recognized events: Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris, WOW! Meetings, Vinexpo America & Drinks America, Vinexpo Hong Kong, WBWE Asia, Vinexpo Bordeaux, Vinexpo Shanghai and WBWE Amsterdam, as well as Vinexpo Explorer and World Wine Meetings.
About Diversified Communications
Diversified Communications is a leading international media company with a portfolio of face-to-face exhibitions and conferences, online communities, and digital and print publications. As producers of these market-leading products, Diversified Communications connects, educates, and strengthens business communities in over 15 industries including: renewable energy, healthcare, natural and organic, food and beverage, and technology. Established in 1949 and headquartered in Portland, Maine, USA, with divisions and offices around the world, Diversified Communications remains a privately held, third-generation, family-owned business. For more information, visit www.divcom.com