Covid or not, En Primeur week will go ahead in Bordeaux and other venues

Thursday January 14 2021 by Vitisphere

 Although the economic situation under Covid is still very much up in the air, the Bordeaux wine industry is hoping to replicate the success of last year's 2019 En Primeur campaign. Although the economic situation under Covid is still very much up in the air, the Bordeaux wine industry is hoping to replicate the success of last year's 2019 En Primeur campaign. - Photo credit : UGCB

The later than usual official En Primeur presentation of the 2020 vintage by the 131 members of the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux (UGCB) will be held in two possible formats from 26 to 29 April 2021. There will either be the traditional reception for buyers and opinion leaders in Bordeaux as part of a return to normal, or there will be a worldwide roll-out of events. “We have chosen two options which humbly recognise that the UGCB has no control over the development of the epidemic and the re-opening of borders”, explained UGCB chairman Ronan Laborde.

Even though this is not the most likely scenario currently, if everything reopens [in the spring], we will be ready to host the tasting week in Bordeaux with our chateaux, service providers and staff”, said Laborde, adding that, were this not the case, events would be hosted as closely as possible to the relevant businesses. These include a tasting for wine merchants in Bordeaux - with a presentation on 15 April - an event in Paris for domestic distributors and the French media, along with a dozen events in target cities abroad, including Brussels, Hong Kong, London and New York. All of these events will be combined with shipments of bespoke tasting kits to identified targets such as critics and marketing firms.

Normally, En Primeur week sees 5 to 6,000 visitors travel to Bordeaux. The 2020 event, which was cancelled due to lockdown, was transformed into shipments of samples of the 2019 vintage to the marketplace along with more boutique-scale events. 1,500 people around the world (including 350 wine merchants in Bordeaux) were able to attend in person and “we witnessed no clusters of the virus”, stressed Laborde, who specified that the event’s organisers will continue to be extremely cautious over safety measures.

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