Last year, I wrote in my French blog about winefair.com, this French initiative: a virtual and 3-D wine fair. I was impressed by the technology and the design of the site. This year, the second edition of winefair.com opens up to international markets.
During the last few weeks, I was in contact with many American winemakers and opinion leaders. The concept is not easy to grasp because it is rather innovative and creative: the site is mostly a business platform allowing winemakers and professionals to get acquainted, meet, talk and keep in touch after the show. In order to enjoy all the functionalities of the site, you must register as a visitor: you’ll then access the list of exhibitors, be able to see when they will be available on their booth (a green dot next to their name) and even make appointments with them on the agenda.
Wine enthusiasts are also encouraged to register as they’ll access a description of the winery, presentation of the wines available and also be able to chat with the producers.
Who are the producers ? A lot of them are French, some are American (Randal Grahm from Bonny Doon, Craig Camp from Cornerstone Cellars, Jeff “El Jefe” Stai from Twisted Oak Winery), Australian (Mark Gifford from Blue Poles in the Margaret River area), Portuguese or Spanish. Consumers and professionals can take advantage of the agenda of each producer to come and meet them. It is a rare oppportunity as most of those international producers do not sell their wines in Europe.
As all fairs, conferences in French and in English will take place during the 5 days of the show: they are live video conferences. I listened to a couple of French conferences live today and was impressed by the level and interest of the content.
The first conference (image above) was with the CEO of the Spanish Qude Bodega about organic wines and wine tourism. This afternoon, the discussion was on the site wine-sign.com, linking communications and wine. It is a lot of fun to chat on line with the speakers using their tchat tool or Twitter.
There were some technical glitches yesterday during the opening. The site was even cut off for a few hours – thanks to a lot more connections than expected on Monday at 9:00 am! But things seem to be fixed by now and hopefully the site will run smoothly from now on. The wine fair might open an extra day next week to answer all the requests of people and give more time to the exhibitors to meet with the crowd.
Take the time to stop by the fair and enjoy the English-speaking program we designed specifically for you!
[Note: I work with winefair.com because I believe in the project, my first criteria to accept a new mission.]