The Découvertes en Vallée du Rhône event is celebrating its 10th anniversary. For Inter Rhône, the purpose of this event is to offer wine trade members a panorama of the richness and diversity of the Rhône Valley wine region.

Virginie CHARLIER, Inter Rhône’s director of marketing and communication, tells us more…

Wine shows have a tendency to multiply. Where does this leave ‘Découverte en Vallée du Rhône’ (DVR)?

V. Charlier : ‘Découvertes en Vallée du Rhône’ is an itinerant show that follows the course of the Rhône river, from Ampuis to Avignon. It is the AOC Rhône wine industry’s big event. It is unique in that it is the trade visitors who come to discover the “terroirs” and not the other way around. The 2,500 visitors who come to meet 600 wine producers and négociants can do so in one (or more) of four different locations. Our wine producers present nearly 4,000 wines, of which 1,000 are offered for tasting. These are wine tasting events of a more manageable size and this intimate environment allows for face-to-face discussion which is more conducive to business.

Are there many visitors from abroad?

V. Charlier :40% of show’s visitors come from abroad. What is interesting is that, although many return time and time again, we have almost one-third first-time visitors each year. The Rhône vineyards continue to fascinate around the world. This year, we are expecting around 2,500 visitors from over 40 countries and some 150 journalists of 16 different nationalities. Wholesalers, importers, négociants, supermarket buyers and representatives from the hotel and restaurant trade will all be in attendance.

What are the highlights of this 10th edition?

V. Charlier : Both a showcase for the French market and a springboard for export, the DVR takes place in an exceptional work environment. For four days, Ampuis, Tain, Mauves and the fabulous backdrop of the Palais des Papes in Avignon will be home to 600 wine producers, who will be revealing the quality of the wines from the 2018 vintage.

We will be inaugurating a new BtoB appointments online platform to facilitate the organisation of business meetings and, for the first time, there will be an event dedicated to the Côtes-du-Rhône-Villages, taking place on the Place du Palais des Papes in Avignon from 6 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday 17 April. The purpose of the event is to highlight the Côtes-du-Rhône-Villages’ patchwork of different terroirs through a convivial tasting.

What would you say to a member of the wine trade to persuade him or her to come to DVR?

V. Charlier : This is a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the heart of the vineyards and to meet the wine-growers, wineries, négociants and other local players, over four days. You can also visit some iconic places and taste representative wines from each of our appellations. ‘Découvertes en Vallée du Rhône’ is a great opportunity for discussion, debate and learning, with masterclasses and evening “off” events presenting the diversity and richness of the Rhône Valley appellations.

How are Rhône Valley wines doing in the French and international markets? Are there differences between the appellations? How does this show help the image of these wines?

V. Charlier : On the French market, against a backdrop of declining consumption, the Rhône AOC wines are more resilient than many others. In the supermarket channel, despite a slight downturn in the volume of the reds in 2018, we saw a good progression on the whites (+14% by volume) and rosés (+3% by volume). In the more selective channels, such as the On Trade, we can boast of being the best-represented wine region, with 76% of establishments listing at least one wine from the Rhône Valley region. With a third of the volume sold internationally, the Rhône Valley wine region continues its value growth in 2018, driven in particular by export outside of Europe. The United States accounts for 25% of export sales, with 6% growth between January and December 2018. China, which still only accounts for 7% of total export value, is again showing growth (+12%). As for our neighbouring countries, helped by their proximity and good communication, they are still important outlets for us, representing 60% of the volume exported.

‘Découvertes en Vallée du Rhône’ is a unique opportunity for all wine industry players to build and maintain their business relations within a framework that puts the entire Rhône Valley wine region in the spotlight through the lens of the AOCs. The event is the pride of a local wine industry which is welcoming the world.

* Source : panel IRI-GMS

The ‘Découvertes en Vallée du Rhône’
wine trade show, from 15 to 18 April 2019