Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris Attracts Over 41,000 Visitors

The first major international wine trade fair of the year was a success – and a step up from last year.

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41,253 visitors had passed through the halls (Photo: Vinexpo/Philippe Labeguerie)
41,253 visitors had passed through the halls (Photo: Vinexpo/Philippe Labeguerie)

Worldwide wine sales may be declining, but there was nothing but buzz at this year’s Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris. By the time the fair ended, on 14 February 2024, a record 41,253 visitors had passed through the halls — an increase of 14% on the previous year. This is still around 8,000 fewer than ProWein attracted to Dusseldorf last year, but the gap between the two fairs is narrowing.

There were more exhibitors too, with numbers rising 20% to 4,074, from 48 producer countries, and non-French exhibitors growing by 53%. ProWein’s 6,000, however, means that there is a lot of catching up to do.

Still very French

Despite the growing internationalisation of the event, with 41% of visitors now coming from 137 countries, no one could doubt they were in France. When the Agriculture Minister Marc Fesneau spoke at the opening, he did so in French, leaving journalists without a mastery of the language to read about it later. It was also still the French halls that seemed to be the fullest – possibly followed by the one devoted to Italy.

Nowhere was busier than the Champagne area, where major Houses competed for attention with an array of small growers. Burgundy, Bordeaux and the Loire all pulled in the crowds, and only Languedoc Roussillon seemed a little quieter.

Even so, despite the numbers, the difficult economic situation in the industry — rising costs, consumer restraint, long-term changes in consumer tastes — hung over everything to varying degrees, depending on the region and its own branding. In the Bordeaux section, the financial state of some merchants and estates seemed to be dominating the conversation more than any speculation over the prospects for over 2023 en primeur.


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Top buyers

Exhibitors across the event noted the quality of the buyers they saw, and some openly wondered at the cost to Vinexposium, the fair organisers, of a large number of flights, hotel rooms and ground transport they had evidently provided. As one visitor from Japan said, “I haven’t had to put my hand in my pocket since leaving Tokyo.

The top markets, after France, were Italy, Belgium, the UK, the US and Germany. There were fewer visitors from China and other parts of Asia than some might have hoped to see, but opening the fair on the day after Chinese New Year was bound to cut numbers. Others said they were disappointed not to see more buyers from Africa, especially given France’s historic links with that continent.

Wherever they came from, according to one official, what visiting buyers were looking for has changed.


To the French Halls (Photo: Vinexpo/Philippe Labeguerie)
To the French Halls (Photo: Vinexpo/Philippe Labeguerie)
Morning rush (Photo: Vinexpo/Philippe Labeguerie)
Morning rush (Photo: Vinexpo/Philippe Labeguerie)

The rise of the portfolio buyer

Birte Jantzen, a well-known European wine journalist who was involved with Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris’s wine shopper service, says many buyers for big agencies and monopolies now want to work with fewer suppliers than in the past. Instead of seeking out individual producers, they are now looking for companies that can supply all of their needs -from commercial through to artisanal wines.

“It’s mostly coming from the northern countries,” she added, clarifying she meant Scandinavia and Finland, including buyers from the monopolies.

“They’re not looking so much for individual smaller producers to [help them to] have a diversified portfolio,“ she said. “So they still have a nice range, but they need to contact and work with less people.”

Jantzen added she was also fielding far more requests for non-French wines, and was happy there were enough producers at the fair to be able to supply them.

A sustainable raison d’être

At the opening, Rodolphe Lameyse, CEO of Vinexopsium reprised the themes he raised in his recent Meininger’s interview, positioning the event as an opportunity for the industry to come together and explore ways to confront a wide range of challenges.

As at almost every other industry event, sustainability was also a major topic. At Wine Paris, this was highlighted at the V d’Or awards dinner on the eve of the fair, a new initiative at which recognition was given by to the sustainable efforts of a range of producers and organisations, ranging from the Creation winery in South Africa to the Alentejo region in Portugal and a small winery and distillery in the UK.

Other sustainable efforts noticed by participants in the fair may have included small flexitanks of wine being driven away from the halls. These, it was revealed, were the contents of the spittoons, on their way to being part of 5,000 litres that would turned into industrial alcohol. The organisers also aimed to reuse 80,000 bottles and 20,000 corks.

The advantages of being in Paris

Being located in the French capital brought other benefits to the event. Not only were there three separate ministerial visits, but also the presence of no fewer than 27 ambassadors, including the representatives of Australia, Austria, China, Italy, Japan, Moldova, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the US.

Going digital (Photo: Vinexpo/Philippe Labeguerie)
Going digital (Photo: Vinexpo/Philippe Labeguerie)
Interesting conference programm (Photo: Vinexpo/Philippe Labeguerie)
Interesting conference programm (Photo: Vinexpo/Philippe Labeguerie)

Wine & Tech

The fair was a curious mix of digital and analogue. Visitors were instructed they had to print their badges — in full colour — before arriving. In the end those without access to a colour printer were allowed to enter, by staff who simply scanned their QR codes. The first morning also saw a chaotic  queue of exhibitors who were still waiting to get into the fair at 9am as the doors opened to the first visitors.

More importantly, Vinexposium pulled out all the stops to help connect producers and buyers, offering an app through which a record 10,146 meetings were booked.

La WineTech, an organization promoting French start-ups, organized stands and a small conference with high-level speakers such as Heini Zachariassen of Vivino and AI winemaker Anthony Aubert who will also be appearing at Meininger’s Wine Goes Tech conference).



Within the wine industry, the rapid advancement of technology presents a wealth of thrilling prospects. These will be prominently featured at Meininger's Wine Conference, under the theme: "Wine Goes Tech: From Robots to AI, From Vineyard to Shelf."

Reading time: 3m 15s

As at previous Vinexpo events the Masterclass and conference sessions were a major feature. Across the three days, there was a total of 126 presentations and discussion panels on a wide range of industry topics from viticulture to marketing and markets. Most were full, with ones on no and low alcohol attracting particular interest.


This increasingly important sector had a section to itself in Hall 7 which was otherwise largely devoted to spirits. With an ambience of its own, this ‘Be Spirits’ area attracted 200 exhibitors from 26 producer countries - 47% more than in 2023.

The next Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris will take place from February 10 to 12, 2025.


Robert Joseph has a broad-ranging conversation with Rodolphe Lameyse, CEO since 2019 of Vinexposium, organiser of Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris, Vinexpo Asia, Vinexpo America, Vinexpo India, and the World Bulk Wine Exhibition in Amsterdam.

Reading time: 6m 30s



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