Keeping a close eye on fizz – and much else

Patrick Schmitt, Editor-in-Chief of The Drinks Business and a Master of Wine, will be looking out for the latest industry news at this year’s Vinexpo Paris. We asked him to tell us about

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What are you looking for at Vinexpo Paris?
I’m primarily looking for stories, but also to re-establish contacts, meet new people, and catch up with peers. We have a stand at the fair, and are using this to launch a new printed product, a list of 100 top winemakers for 2020, based on the results from our Global Masters series of wine tastings.

What are they key wine/spirits trends you are following?
In wine, I’m focused on trends in sparkling wine, particularly Champagne and Prosecco, and English fizz. We also closely follow fast-growing if relatively niche sectors, such as CBD drinks or low/no alcohol wines and spirits. We are closely watching the rise of celebrity-backed drinks, the maturation – or saturation – of the gin sector, and the development of upmarket rosés.

What are the industry’s biggest challenges and opportunities?
Shifting to more sustainable business models is a challenge and an opportunity. And so is the trend towards moderation by a younger generation. More immediately, and in terms of challenges alone, tariffs on drinks caught up in trade wars are a serious concern, as is social unrest.

Photo: Patrick Schmitt, Editor-in-Chief, The Drinks Business