Very sad to be missing out on Vinoble 2016, the International Exhibition of “Noble Wines” (which they define as fortified, dessert and natural sweet wines) organized every two years in Jerez. (I must say I find the name a little ironic given the relatively minor importance the vines are generally given in the elaboration of these wines, but maybe it is a good omen for the future.) According to the website the event will include 900 wines from all around the world, including Australia, Austria, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain (of course) Switzerland, and Uruguay.
It must be said the board above (photo borrowed from the TL of @VinosSanlucar – the Bodegas Artesanas de Sanlucar de Barrameda) looks a bit more Iberian dominated. I count 34 exhibitors of which 26 are fundamentally dedicated to spanish wines and institutions, 4 to portuguese (Taylors, Poças, O Lusitano, and Terras do Portugal), one is a distributor of wines from all over (Vinos Perea) and there are three from the “ROW” (Sweetbordeaux (France), VS AY SA (Romania), and Quady (USA)). There are, as you would expect, plenty of the wines of Jerez, Sanlucar, el Puerto de Santa Maria, Chiclana, and Montilla Moriles in attendance.
It is a trade gathering and the emphasis is on international buyers and professional events – there are some very high quality tastings arranged during the course of the Exhibition itself. And that is just the main program. As so often with these International Exhibitions there is also a lot going on around the “fringe” – a lot of cracking parties, bodega visits, dinners, lunches and all sorts have been organized.
And the truth is I am sad not to be down there. I have a love-hate relationship with these big gatherings. They are really no way to get to know a wine in my view. Neither am I from the trade. Nevertheless I had intended to go and had my work not intervened would have done. It would have been a fantastic opportunity to meet some of the winemakers I admire, see some friends again and celebrate their successes, find out what is new – to be quite honest I am intrigued by the wines from the Canary Islands and Valencia that will be on show, not to mention the “internationals”- and just generally see what is happening.
So from stuck in Madrid, with a heavy heart, I wish all of those down in Jerez a fantastic few days. I sincerely hope you sell the traditional wines of Southern Spain to buyers around the world and I look forward to seeing my twitter timeline fill with photos of glasses clinking, ice buckets, rare bottles, suelfies, and all the rest. Cheers!