It’s that time of year again boys and girls. Organic winemakers from across France, and many from further afield, are gearing up their samples to take over to Montpellier for the largest Organic wine Fair in the world. 2019’s Millésime Bio is going to be the biggest yet, and I was lucky enough, earlier this week, to meet Philippe and Anne from SudVinBio to discover more…
SubVinBio is based down in the Occitaine, a region of France that covers the wine regions of Languedoc and Rousillon. These two are the pioneers of French organic winemaking (the weather helps!) so it’s a bright place to stick the main interprofessional organic wine association in France.
They work on legislation in France and Europe, they help with technical queries for members in conversion or where one or two things aren’t quite working out. And also, and almost most importantly, trying to educate the consumer on what organic wine actually means. I still hear it now, in 2018, that people are put off form organic wine because it’s usually shit. No it bloody isn’t! Where have they got that from? Maybe it’s a good thing I wasn’t drinking wine in the 1970s. Sounds dreadful!
In 1993 they started a small trade fair in Perpignan to show off what the members were up to. Couple of years later they outgrew the space and had to move to Narbonne. They’re now in Montpellier in 4 massive halls, with 980 exhibitors and 6000 visitors (Jan 2018).
There is no marketing hype, everyone has the same sized table and just gets on with it. It’s all very egalitarian. High end Pomerol and Champagne stand shoulder to shoulder with €3 Carignans. It’s all about championing organic and biodynamic production. The bullshit can take a walk for the weekend.
The 2019 edition is 28th-30thJanuary and it’s bigger than ever before. 1200+ exhibitors, with 25% now coming from outside of France, a truly global fair.
WHAT DOES ANY OF THIS MEAN FOR US?
You may not know it, but as a world we’re starting to demand organic wines. Be it from an ethical or a health point of view, demand for organic wines has been growing at around 15% each year in the past 5 years.
Wine fairs like this are designed to promote how easy organic wines are to market, to get over narrow minded preconceptions about price and quality, and show the trade that this really is the future industry standard. It’s one section of the still wine market in the world where demand is outstripping supply, and when does that ever happen?!?
Us punters are increasingly waking up to organic wines, and Millésime Bio is gearing France up to help us out.
Millésime Bio is a trade only fair. If you work in the wine trade and wish to attend, please get in touch directly through the website.