How coronavirus is disrupting the global drinks industry

As tastings and trade shows worldwide have been scrapped or pushed back to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, we’re keeping tabs on the latest news from the drinks industry.

On Tuesday, London’s wine trade had its first casualty. The RAW Wine Show, which was due to take place this weekend, has been postponed. Founder Isabelle Legeron MW said: “With so many producers flying in from all over the world this seems like the right decision for such a large gathering of people and such an international event.”

At the same time, the bi-annual Grands Jours de Bourgogne tasting, due to take place between 9 and 13 March, has likewise been called off.

On Monday (2 March), we learned that the London Wine Fair will still go ahead, but attendees have been told to proceed with caution. The organisers have pledged to supply extra hand sanitisers and face masks to curb infection at the mammoth wine tasting in Kensington Olympia in May.

Arguably the biggest event in the drinks trade calendar, ProWein, has also been pushed back. Messe Düsseldorf said on 29 February it was postponing a series of trade fairs set to take place in the exhibition centre, including ProWein, Wire, Tube, Beauty, Top Hair and Energy Storage Europe.

A number of shows have also been cancelled altogether in China, while the dates for Vinexpo Hong Kong and ProWine Asia in Singapore have also moved to later this year.

According to roving reporter Roger Morris, Vinexpo New York opened as planned on Monday 2 March, but a degree of uncertainty hangs over the event as to whether travel restrictions and mounting caution over contact with European visitors will dampen the mood.

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