2020 will be remembered for many things in the wine industry, except the top actor was the global Covid-19 pandemic and its heavy repercussions on the wine business. Besides the common imperative to understand consumer behaviour, needs and trends, players in the wine production and international trade were additionally faced with many challenges, that still linger to this day. Not to mention the issues already present before the outbreak, tariffs, climate change, or logistics among others.
Trends & challenges that continue in 2021
Financially, 2021 will continue the trend of conscious spending ignited in 2020, as consumers are slowly recovering financially, while businesses should keep an eye on governments tax rates forecasted to increase to balance the current deficit.
In terms of trends, 2021 is seen to continue the global trends already present on the wine market: clean living that focuses on health/wellness awareness, low alcohol content, unique, convenient packaging (canned, boxed), and ethical, sustainable wines, as well as premiumisation and the rise in the internet sales.
Wine consumers have it better than producers and traders, as the industry shows growing diversity and innovation as a result of fighting challenges and competition, for the joy of the wine enthusiasts.
Wine tourism troubled: consequences & solutions
The Coronavirus lockdown and restrictions took a toll on both wine businesses and customers. The shutdown of many businesses as well as group activities, be it wine events, social gatherings, travelling or eating out, proved once again that wine is not a solitary activity to enjoy, but more of a social one.
Uncertainty is still present in the air, with people learning to deal with the past and future situation in the wine industry. As wine tourism was profoundly impacted and needs time to recover, the top priority for the wine business in 2021 is to focus and invest in a strategy to improve the communication and relationship with its clients.
The effects of restrictions and anxiety of the past year continue to linger in 2021, as several giants in the wine events category like Prowein or Vinexpo were cancelled in 2021. As a consequence, the online channel was pushed into the limelight, as a solution of marketing and communication, being most accessed by players active on the market. Until things return to normal, the pre-Covid era, if things are still to be the same, wine businesses have shown to be chosen a mix between the classic wine events but organized on a smaller scale and compliant to restrictions and online experiences, be it live streaming, virtual tasting, webinars or conferences.
Moreover, e-commerce and social media presence for wine businesses has shown to be of great value in this context and seems to be one of the answers for the present and future long term success when it comes to marketing, business development, and establishing a clientele.
Top wine events in 2021
For a better understanding of this years` situation regarding wine events worldwide, we researched and compiled a short selection of top wine events from around the world, that are planned to take place this year.
Disclaimer: Dates or status of events are subject to change or cancellation. For the most accurate information, ensure to check websites of the official event organizers.
Disclaimer 2: The following selection is not subject to paid advertising.
|Vinitaly||Verona, Italy||20-23 June 2021||biggest wine trade show in Europe|
|United States Trade Tasting||New York City||25-26. May 2021||the largest industry meeting place for professionals of viticulture, production, and trade|
|ExpoVinis||São Paulo, Brazil||08-11 June 2021||South America’s biggest wine show|
(3-5 June 2021)
|largest and oldest professional wine and spirits exhibition in China|
(28-30 Oct 2021)
|Good Food & Wine Show||Australia||Melbourne
(28-30 May 2021)
|Australia’s largest consumer exhibition|
(25-27 June 2021)
(30 July-01 Aug 2021)
(22-24 Oct 2021)
|Wine East Africa||Nairobi, Kenya||20 – 22 Apr 2021||Africa’s largest wine international trade show|
A selection of online events
|WineFuture 2021||online||23-25 Feb 2021||Global wine industry virtual conference|
|Online Wine Tastings with Tom Cannavan||online||Go Go Brazil!
(11 & 18 February 2021)
|Various online tastings|
|Burgundy & Beyond (11 & 18 March 2021)|
|Grand Tour of Italy
(15 & 22 April 2021)
|Virtual ‘Taste of Europe’ Wine Tasting with New World Wine Tours||online||6-7 Feb 2021||”Enjoy a guided wine tasting on 3 regions of Europe with a certified sommelier including professional tasting techniques.”|
|Direct to Consumer Wine Symposium 2021||online||19-22 Jan 2021||”DTC Wine Symposium is the wine industry’s annual, national summit on direct marketing and sales.”|
|Wine.com offers a plethora of virtual wine tastings by celebrities||online||anytime||Virtual tastings by celebrities (Bon Jovi, John Legend, Cameron Diaz, Sting and many more)|
The show must go on!
Fortunately, the future is bright. In the face of health, financial and many other concerns, the wine industry is resilient, as seen in the ability of many businesses to rethink strategies and solutions when needed. Despite the global pandemic and all these changes and challenges brought by 2020, the wine industry should celebrate that it once again proved it can endure and mould to new situations, as well as implement solutions to survive. This entire chaos brought back a sense of connection and community between people around the world and that is the silver lining and the lesson of 2020.