One of the biggest challenges facing small wine producers looking for new export markets lies in how to get the most out of their participation in a trade fair. They are told to make appointments in advance, but how are they to know whom to invite? And how, in a forest of stands, some of whose exhibitors already have a long-established place in the market, can they make it clear that they are looking for an importer?
In 2015, two women, one from Britain, the other from Portugal, decided to address this problem at the London Wine Trade Fair, by creating a dedicated area for these companies, and by providing them with a roadmap to the UK market in advance of the event.
Judy Kendrick and Ana Sofia de Oliveira called their initiative Wines Unearthed, and it very quickly became one of the most successful elements of the exhibition as a whole.
After trialling it in Hong Kong, the concept is now being incorporated into Vinexpo Paris in February 2024. Unlike the London fair which, in recent years, has become increasingly UK market-focused, the new venture in Paris is aimed at producers looking for distribution in France, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States and Canada. Wines Unearthed is promising to deliver market data and advice for all of these different key countries and will be working with Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris to spread the word through effective PR.