When the international organic industry comes together once again for the World’s Leading Trade Fair for Organic Food from 14 to 17 February, experts and specialist buyers from the wine segment will congregate in the WINE World of Experience, which is being supported by ECOVIN, in hall 7. In the area, trade visitors will find organic wineries and retailers presenting products, as well as presentations, product tasting sessions and an appealing supporting programme. It will also offer them the opportunity to talk to experts about current developments in the organic wine segments and discover new highlights and additions for their own product ranges. With the variety of wines increasing all the time, it is really not easy sometimes for organic wine connoisseurs to select the fine wine that suits them best from the global range available – which makes a competent and professional evaluation of organically produced wines all the more important. The big international organic wine awards MUNDUS VINI BIOFACH, which are organized by MUNDUS VINI GmbH, are held for organic wines from every winegrowing region in the world. Selected by an independent and neutral jury of experts, the winning wines will be available for tasting in the WINE World of Experience. What are the current trends in the organic wine market and what highlights can trade visitors expect in the WINE World of Experience? Ralph Dejas, managing director of ECOVIN, answers three questions about the topic:
Mr Dejas, can you give us a brief summary of the current developments and trends you have noticed in the organic wine market?
One very pleasing trend among winegrowers in general is that more and more of them are becoming very open and interested in organic viniculture practices. At ECOVIN, we have been holding specialist seminars and training courses for over 30 years, and interest in these events has always been good. Many of our course participants start switching to organic practices soon after attending, so that they can then be certified organic after three years. At stores too, the demand for organically produced wines is higher than ever before. While smaller quantities and particular niches, like specialist stores and upmarket restaurants and catering establishments, were more popular in days gone by, the demand at conventional retailers has increased significantly as well in recent times. The transition towards more organic winegrowing is definitely making progress.
What are winegrowers and retailers in the organic sector concerned about at the moment?
The problems that farmers and winegrowers see themselves being confronted with are the consequences of climate change. We are going to have to deal with a rise in fungi as a result of very wet years in the future and will also experience longer periods of extremely dry weather. Climate researchers are forecasting an increase in extreme weather conditions such as heavy rain and hail. Let’s say someone bases a decision to plant a new vineyard on predictions for the next 40 years. They are going to think really carefully about which grape varieties should be planted where. There are some very promising robust varieties (fungus-resistant varieties), and many ECOVIN members are growing and gradually marketing these varieties, including as varietals. These are the challenges of the future. In cooperation with retailers, we can and have to educate consumers on this subject.
What will the highlights of the WINE World of Experience programme be? What new aspects or inspiring special features will there be? Can you give us a little preview?
The WINE World of Experience programme will include plenty of variety. One highlight will of course be the MUNDUS VINI BIOFACH award ceremony, during which the winners will be announced. The top wines will be available for tasting in different time slots from the Thursday to the Saturday, with information provided on each one. In addition, there will be sections of the programme dedicated to organic certification for restaurants, catering establishments and specialist stores, and to fungus-resistant varieties, biodiversity and sustainability. Does wine go well with chocolate? If so, what sort of chocolate? You’ll get answers to these questions on the Friday, and before that, every winegrower at the exhibition is invited to bring open sample bottles of their wines to our open-bottle party in the WINE World of Experience, which is being held as part of the Blue Night, the long organic evening on the Thursday. We look forward to seeing you!