This blog is very much aimed at the wine trade but I will be doing a couple of round up pieces about the wine and winery highlights encountered which were interesting to say the least. In particular, a red light, unfortified wine aged under flor yeast in amphora. It was in fact very good and full of character and interest. Further details will follow. I will also include a few other new Spanish discoveries tasted over the spring. All will be included in the 11th edition of Wine behind the label as well as the 2nd edition of my regional guide to Spain, España Vino.
2017 Fenavin Wine Gallery
Fenavin (www.fenavin.com) is now a very well established Spanish trade fair and has in recent years rivalled, if not exceeded, for wine exhibitors, the giant generally food oriented fair in Barcelona, Alimentaria. For obvious reasons they operate in alternate years.
Logically you would consider Fenavin would struggle in comparison, being based in the city of Ciudad Real in the far south of La Mancha. However in recent years the organisers decided to target the international wine trade and based on the arrangements I have enjoyed with the UK delegation things are very efficiently handled.
The international delegations will help with organising flights and train transfers from Madrid to Ciudad and crucially organise the visiting buyers and a handful of opinion leaders with hotel accommodation. In earlier fairs I have stayed in Ciudad Real and on this occasion around half an hour outside the city. If you are based in the UK and are interested in the 2019 fair you should contact Gerald Lawson-Tancred at Xtend2 (www.xtend2.co.uk), which organises the UK delegation. For merchants and buyers in other markets you should contact the Fenavin organisers in good time before the next event. They will put you in touch with your own relevant delegation.
Fenavin Business Centre
For buyers there is a sophisticated set up where you can search for potential contacts and suppliers by region, price and so on and organise meetings in advance. When you get to the exhibition there is a business centre with meeting rooms, translators, wifi and so on. Also of real use is the Wine Gallery tasting area where you can get an idea of the style/styles of wine you are looking for. The majority of exhibitors supply samples to the gallery where there are around 1,500 wines on show. Wineries of all sizes exhibit. You can find large Rioja merchants on the one hand and stands where small boutique producers have clubbed together to cover the cost.
Some exceptional wines from Forjas del Salnés
So here then are a handful of statistics for the 2017 fair courtesy of the organisers. 411,000 commercial contacts were made, 111,000 more than the goal established by the organization. The trade fair received more than 108,000 visits, 10% more than in 2015; of these 52,613 were direct professionals pertaining to the wine industry, 3,250 were exhibitors, 3,025 were from the national media groups, while 720 were from international media groups.
Look out for my Fenavin highlights in the coming few weeks.