By Maggie LaCoste
When I discovered that my short stay in Bordeaux would coincide with Vinexpo, I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to attend and learn more about French wines for my new guidebook series. Although the show is only open to wine trade professionals, I had the opportunity to attend as one of over 2,000 journalists who cover the wine industry. Lucky me. The day was definitely one of the most fun and exciting days I’ve had lately, and it didn’t even involve riding a bike!
Some quick background: Vinexpo is the premier global wine and spirits exhibition in the world with close to 2500 producers present. Vineyards from all the wine producing regions display their wines to an audience of over 45,000 wine and spirit professionals from 150 countries. The main attraction here is tasting, tasting like I have never seen before.
There was tasting of multiple wines at each booth. There were official group tastings like the one for Saint-Estephe 2010 vintage wines that I went to today. This involved three hours of tasting Saint-Estephe wines from more than 50 producers! Even at tiny tastes, I was really glad that all I had to do at the end of the day was take a bus back to Bordeaux! There were official tasting labs where the activity was guided by special wine experts. And these are just tastings open to normal people like me!
The best part of the day was meeting many of the producers and talking to them about Experience France By Bike and the growing interest in exploring French vineyards the slow way, on bicycles. This was a great way to kickoff my latest bicycling trip. With a start like this, I know this is going to be one fantastic trip, and I can’t wait to share it with you!