Barcelona Wine Week beats its own record and will bring together 800 wineries and 70 quality seals
More wineries and quality seals, more business opportunities and today’s leading experts will feature in Barcelona Wine Week 2023. Spanish wine’s flagship show at the Fira de Barcelona is gearing up for its best edition with 828 exhibiting wineries, 27% more than in 2022, and the participation of 70 vineyard seals and designations of origin renowned for their excellent quality.
Barcelona Wine Week (BWW), which will be held from 6 to 8 February at the Montjuic venue of Fira de Barcelona, consolidates its position as the flagship event in the industry for domestic and international purchasers of Spanish quality wine with record figures this edition: 828 exhibiting wineries, 70 prestigious seals represented and the presence of big names such as Protos, Matarromera, Rioja Vega, Pago de los Capellanes, Juvé & Camps, Recaredo and Freixenet.
In addition, there will also be hundreds of small and medium-sized wineries grouped into more than 70 Designations of Origin (D.Os), such as Cava, Ribera del Duero, Rueda, Priorat, Bierzo, Madrid, Valencia, Jumilla, Costers del Segre, Navarra and Valdeorras.
Javier Pagés, the show’s chairman and President of the Cava D.O., emphasises that “BWW will be the first big fair event of the year for the industry and aims to give visibility to the great wealth of terroirs this country has, analyse the future challenges of the wine-making industry and offer business opportunities both in the domestic and international markets.”
In this way, BWW will be a great business and networking forum that will bring together thousands of professionals and purchase decision-makers from large distribution groups, importers of recognised prestige, wholesale centres, specialised distributors, retailers and gourmet stores. To this end, it has invited nearly 1,800 key buyers of Spanish wine, coming, in addition to Spain, from important export markets such as the United States, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Belgium, China, Brazil and Japan. Representatives of all of Spain’s top distribution groups have also confirmed that they will be attending, as well as hotel chains, large restaurant franchise groups and individual restaurants. A total of more than 8,000 business meetings among the fair’s exhibitors and professional buyers are expected to take place.
Spain ranks third in the world’s wine producers (with 40.5 million hectolitres in 2022), is the number one exporter in terms of volume and the third in terms of value (over €2.9 billion exported in 2021).
A journey through the singularity of Spain’s soils
BWW 2023 proposes an immersive journey through the country’s many and varied terroirs and wines. With the slogan “Spain: a singular mosaic of soils”, the visitor will be able to participate in more than fifty tastings and talks given by almost 90 experts, sommeliers, producers, etc. Keynote sessions will bring together Masters of Wine (the highest distinction for wine knowledge) who produce their own wines, such as Norrel Robertson, who since 2003 has produced his wines in Calatayud; Fernando Mora, with vineyards in several locations in Aragon; and Andreas Kubach, director of Península Vinicultores, with vineyards in La Rioja Alavesa, among other locations. Multiple award-winning sommeliers who have become winemakers such as Bruno Murciano, Guillermo Cruz, Sergi Figueres and Xavi Nolla will also feature in a joint tasting.
Some fifteen renowned winery owners who cultivate their vines in unique soils will feature in sessions such as ‘The wise men of the terroir’, which will bring together three visionaries: René Barbier (Priorat) César Saldaña, (Jerez) and Felipe Blanco (Canary Islands). Álvaro Palacios and his nephew Ricardo P. Palacios will be showing off the richness of two wine growing areas that they have contributed to revolutionising: the Priorat and the Bierzo. The tasting session ‘Soils as unique as they are unbreakable’ will feature three wine growers: Esmeralda García, who works with the sandy soils of Santiuste (Segovia); Sara Pérez, in love with the terroirs of the Priorat and of the Montsant; and Cristina Yagüe, who makes wine in the Rías Baixas, Ribeira Sacra and Valdeorras.
Other interesting contributions will be those of the internationally renowned critic Tim Atkin, who will present his long-awaited Rioja 2023 Special Report and will guide a tasting of wines from the area; and that of Luis Gutiérrez, taster for Wine Advocate Robert Parker for Spain and author of the book “Los nuevos viñadores” (The new vignerons: A new generation of Spanish wine growers), who will lead a tasting of 6 great wines from 6 different soils. The programme will also include a tribute to the late Gérard Basset, considered the greatest sommelier of all time; a tasting of Cavas with the 100% quality seal with the Master of Wine Pedro Ballesteros; a talk by Santi Rivas, author of “Deja Todo o Deja el Vino” (Give up everything or give up wine), who will analyse 13 consumer trends through 13 wines; and the tasting ‘Magnificent 7 of the Priorat’, led by journalist and wine expert Ramon Francàs.
A prominent space will be the wine bar Wine Tasting Journey – Soils of Spain by #alimentosdespaña, which, in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, will offer a self-guided tasting with 58 wines in which the soil is an element of special importance. There will be wines from Ribera del Duero, Rioja, Priorat, Bierzo, the Orotava Valley (Tenerife), Jumilla, Mallorca, Alicante, Jerez, León and Calatayud, among other territories.
Challenges, trends and more gastronomy
Likewise, the BWW Hub will host conferences and round tables on sustainability, innovation and digitalisation in wineries. Topics such as the management of vineyard soils in the face of climate change, the benefits of eco-design, new ways of reusing bottles, the digital transformation of viticulture, the protection of the country’s old vines and how to better convey Spanish wine will be analysed.
BWW will also make a firm commitment to strengthen the synergies of wine with haute cuisine, a great ambassador of the Spanish food industry abroad. Thus, in collaboration with ICEX España Exportación e Inversiones, a round-table discussion will be held with international restaurants recognised with the Restaurants from Spain international gastronomic quality distinction. Participating, among others, will be Nacho Manzano, chef at Casa Marcial (**Michelin) and gastronomic director of the Ibérica Restaurants and Camino group (London) and José Pizarro, owner of 6 restaurants in London and collaborator of the BBC, where he divulges the benefits of Spanish produce.
Meanwhile, the space #BWW Gastronomy, Food & Wine Restaurant will offer visitors the opportunity to enjoy the best small dishes in combination with great wines from three of Barcelona’s most outstanding restaurants: Bar Alegría (Tomás Abellán), Cecconi’s (Alessio Biangini) and Kao (Josep Maria Kao). In addition, the BWW Likes the City! Project will convert Barcelona into the wine capital by associating it with locations in the city to offer special wine and food pairings and ideas during the show. Abac (***), Cocina Hermanos Torres (***), Moments (**), Windsor, Virens and La Balsa are among the participating restaurants.