The 41st World Congress of Vine & Wine “Shaping the Future: Production and Market Challenges” came to a close last 23 November after five intensive days of presentations, sessions and discoveries. The Congress which took place in Punta del Este, Uruguay gathered more than 400 experts and officials from 40 countries and reflected on the waves of challenges and opportunities ahead, proposing innovative approaches on the way forward.
Jean-Marie Aurand opened the Congress with a State of the Vitiviniculture World Market presenting the latest trends related to viticultural production, the production of grapes and wine, the trends in the consumption of wine and international wine trade. With the wine market becoming an increasingly globalised sector, more and more countries producing wine, consumers are getting increasingly educated having new expectations and concerns.
Consumption patterns are shifting from a “traditional” to a “modern” model. Consumers are better informed and continuously seeking more information about what they are drinking.
Imports on wine have increased from 28% in 2000 to 44% today, confirming not only the growing interest of people on wine but
Keeping this in mind, we could say that wine companies are not only exporting bottles of wine but most importantly a culture of appreciation and moderation. This is where we collectively need to continuously encourage the sustainable consumption of wine confirming the important role “Wine in Moderation” has to play. also the on the culture of wine and the respective lifestyle.
In a keynote speech quite different from what we have seen in previous OIV congresses, Peter Richards MW whole heartedly gave a glimpse of the future, urging the sector to innovate.
His speech prepared the floor for the round table discussion with the participation of renowned experts covering different fields of expertise from viticulture and oenology to market and society. Among them, Stylianos Filopoulos, Wine in Moderation director, who said that wine has two faces and wished that in the future, wine professionals will further embrace this controversy and will be bold in talking both about the benefits and the risks linked to wine. Moderation is key.
The Congress continued the following days allowing experts to present their latest research on the key topics of the four OIV Commissions: Viticulture; Enology; Consumer Expectations; Safety and Health.
The Health & Safety presentation debated on the health aspects of wine. Prof. Nicolai Worm, Chair of Wine Information Council, presented the latest results of epidemiology studies on wine and cancer, while Prof. Gergely Szolnoki from the University of Geisenheim presented a comparative analysis of consumption pattern in 2 countries where Wine in Moderation is active; Germany and Hungary.
The “Consumers Expectation” Commission had a strong focus on wine tourism. A growing trend, the sector seems to be indeed catching the wave and increasing the research on the topic looking to further develop its wine tourism activities in a sustainable way. A number of professionals thus presented their projects on the topic, Vinka Woldarsky who presented the development of a best practice manual in wine tourism for the Portuguese market was one of them. Developed under the coordination of Viniportugal, the manual aims to promote an enhanced enoturism in Portugal while encouraging wineries to provide a sustainable tourism experience. Gergely Szolnoki made a thorough analysis investigating the differences between primary and secondary wine tourists in German wine-growing regions.
Wine in Moderation introduced its pilot project on how to design sustainable and responsible wine tourism experiences. All presentations were highly appreciated and opened the debate on the development of a sustainable wine tourism offer. A debate that Wine in Moderation would like to lead with its members and partners and with the international organisations it is involved in such as the OIV and the UNWTO.
Wine in Moderation also took this opportunity to welcome its latest member. The membership of the Brazilian wine association, Ibravin, was indeed formally signed in the occasion of the Congress and in presence of high representatives. Brazil is the fifth country from South America to join Wine in Moderation reinforcing South America’s strong commitment to social responsibility.
Before coming to a close, the Congress organised its 16th General Assembly which elected Mr. Pau Roca who becomes the 10th Director General of the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) succeeding to Jean Marie Aurand as from January 1st, 2019. Mr. Roca has been actively involved with the OIV, a member of the Spanish delegation and has also been a leading figure for the Wine in Moderation programme in Spain since the very beginning.
The success of the Congress and of Wine in Moderation’s participation was hugely supported by the Uruguayan wine sector and INAVI. Already greatly committed to sharing the culture of wine, its history and traditions; and the responsible and moderate consumption of wine, INAVI has joined Wine in Moderation in May 2018 .