Barcelona Wine Week, a reunion with Spanish wine
More than 18,000 visitors, 20% from 79 countries around the world, visited the 10,000 square metres of the Montjuïc exhibition centre at the Feria de Barcelona for three days, where around 650 companies presented more than 800 new products. 470 major international buyers were invited and 6,600 business meetings were held between companies. More than 165,000 glasses were tasted at this wine fair and more than 10,000 bottles and their corks were recycled.
Those numbers are quick to reel off, but this was the result of a marathon effort that also had to overcome various setbacks, like an unexpected pandemic. This was the Barcelona Wine Week 2022, which has seen Barcelona once again become the point of reference and meeting place for the Spanish wine sector.
They say that “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” and this is certainly true for the BWW which, after a successful first event in February 2020, and with its sights already set on the plans for BWW 2021, they were forced to change their plans due to COVID. When it finally seemed like the road was clear and the show was scheduled to take place at the beginning of 2022, they again had to overcome a change of schedule, which meant it coincided with Alimentaria & Hostelco, the great food, gastronomy and hospitality show.
“In Spain, the area of cultivated vineyards accounts for 13% of the world’s total,” says Javier Pagés, president of Barcelona Wine Week. Spain is the second largest exporter in volume and the third largest in value. Spanish wines can be found in 189 countries around the world, which is why Barcelona Wine Week is an important business space, one of the main focusses and raison d'être for this great wine fair.
One of the aims of the BWW is, as well as facilitating business opportunities, to be a showcase of innovation and unique experiences. This year’s event was characterised by its focus on sustainability, highlighting the value of native varieties, which are key to the sustainability of current and future viticulture.
For the first time, there was a space dedicated to taking a journey through tasting more than 50 wines made with native grapes from all over the Spanish wine-growing area. An outstanding place to learn a little more about these “hidden grapes”. More and more wineries are focussing on and promoting these minority grapes and on the recovery of varieties that showcase an identity and that are finally shedding their anonymity to claim their well-deserved recognition.
Another trend in the wine sector is the growing demand for wines with low or no alcohol, wines made following the principles of organic agriculture or suitable for vegans (vegan wines). Innovation has also happened in the form of new packaging, where wine in a can is becoming more and more popular.
Wine tourism is another factor worth highlighting. More and more winemakers are offering a full experience that allows them to bring their product closer to the consumer in a way that highlights the characteristics of the wine, whose social, historical, gastronomic and cultural relationship is part of its identity and value. It is also a good way to bring life back into a sector that has been hit so hard by the pandemic, like the catering industry.
As with the previous event, the BWW also offered spaces for great experts to give presentations, round tables and studies that addressed topics related to innovation, technology and wine tourism.
After three intense days, Javier Pagés, president of Barcelona Wine Week and the DO Cava Regulatory Board, said that “this event has achieved its goal of positioning itself as the best meeting point for wine professionals in Spain, a spring board to promote the excellence and diversity of quality Spanish wine in the international market”.
Barcelona Wine Week is organised by Alimentaria Exhibitions (Fira Barcelona) and is supported by the Spanish Wine Federation, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, ICEX Spain Export and Investment. The next event will be held from 6-8 February, 2023.