Millésime Bio, The World’s Largest Organic Wine Fair, Successfully Goes Digital In 2021
For many organic wine producers and those wishing to purchase their produce, January normally includes a trip to Montpellier, in the Occitanie region, in the south of France. Millésime Bio, a wine fair with 28 years of history, attracts producers and participants from all over the world.
It is a highlight in the organic wine and alcoholic drinks industry, as the event has kept a typical program, this year from January 25 to 27, with more than 1,000 producers present, including more than 150 new exhibitors. . But there was a huge difference: everything was virtual.
An innovative digital platform allowed even more attendees to meet exhibitors, make connections and attend conferences. Virtual “booths” captured the history of exhibitors, their contact details, technical sheets and details of the wines presented.
3,000 visitors from 52 countries participated in more than 15,000 interactions with exhibitors at the show through unique online chat and video features. While about half of the participants were French, much of the interest came from international participants in the wine industry, topping the list Germany, Belgium, Canada and the United States.
Organized by the Sudvinbio professional association, one of the highlights of the gathering is the Challenge Millésime Bio, the largest international organic wine competition in the world. This year, journalist Andrew Jefford chaired the competition, supported by a jury of qualified tasters. The winners will be published on February 24.
The event was such a success that Sudvinbio announced an unprecedented opportunity, the reopening of the Millésime Bio 2021 trade fair platform on March 18 and 19. The show is expected to revert to an in-person format in January 2022.
The growth of the fair, despite the constraints of the global pandemic and the vast reduction in travel opportunities, shows the potential of the organic wine and alcoholic beverage market. According to a 2019 report from Millésime Bio, the French organic wine market grew at a rate of 16.8% in volume over the period 2012 – 2017. The organization expects a growth rate of around 14% per year on the period 2017 – 2022, which would allow the market to almost double in volume in ten years (+ 85% by 2022).
“The consumption of organic products, and in particular organic wine, continues to grow,” says Jeanne Fabre, wine tourism director of Famille Fabre and president of the Millésime Bio commission. “This crisis has an impact on consumer awareness with a marked shift towards a preference for ethical and sustainable, local and organic products. “
But it is not only the French market that is benefiting from a sustained increase in organic wine. Austrian Wine, represented by Head of International Markets Michael Tischler-Zimmermann and Piccole Vigne del Piemonte represented by Technical Head of Viticulture Vicki Saccuzzo each made presentations to conference attendees on organic wines from their regions. And wine producers from 16 countries in Europe, South America and New Zealand participated as exhibitors.
“Guided by our identity as a winegrower, the show is therefore reinventing itself for this very special 28th edition,” explains Fabre. “In order to remain today and always at the service of producers and buyers of organic wine.