Guillaume Deglise: Meet the Showman

09 March, 2015

As to his absolute favourites, they are the traditional wines to the north. He cites Chablis specifically, then says: “I love crisp wines with minerality and low in alcohol. I love German and Austrian wines. German wines have changed so much – they have more finesse.” With his innate diplomacy on hold, Deglise says emphatically: “I think Germany makes the best Riesling on the face of the earth.” That will upset the Austrians. Smaller stand next time round?

So from selling wine he loves to selling space – what made him jump? “I probably needed a new challenge but I wanted to stay in the wine business,” he says. “I would not have gone to an exhibition organiser unless it was in the wine and spirits business. Obviously, it is a different business but it is still close to the industry.

“I will miss talking about wine. I will now have to talk about space. It is a new challenge,” he says with a smile. “Instead of talking to just one producer about his wine, I will now have to deal with many.”

Deglise is not daunted by the challenge. He goes on to present the new ‘second generation’ Vinexpo to a room full of journalists, reeling off a huge tranche of IWSR statistics to prove that the wine and spirits industry is in rude health and needs a new, modern Vinexpo to display its products, not forgetting the all important networking aspect. The journalists are left with hand ache and repetitive strain injuries from all the facts and stats flung at them.

“A lot of people feel they have to go to Vinexpo. I want to change that to: ‘Good, I feel like going.’ I want people to rediscover Vinexpo and find it innovative and welcoming.”

To that end Deglise unveiled a raft of new initiatives to make Vinexpo altogether better. They included new designs for exhibition spaces, better access and services, free tasting areas, better catering and The Blend, a venue on the banks of the Garonne for late night networking reminiscent of the TFWA’s The Scene at its show in Cannes. 

The icing on the cake for many Vinexpo veterans has to be a new tramline which gets you to the exhibition site from the centre of Bordeaux in 15-20 mins. For those of us in the know, let us hope they retain the bus shuttles as there will be a limit as to how many trams they can put on the one line and a limit to how many poor souls each tramcar will accommodate.

So the shoes are filled. They will need to be sensible ones for getting round that huge exhibition site to make sure the welcoming banners and bunting are up and all the new initiatives are up and running. 

Anyway, job done in terms of curtain raising. It may be worth taking a peek this year. Don’t forget the sensible shoes.

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Nick Strangeway

Bar food's blurred lines

Once upon a time pubs and bars were somewhere you went with the sole purpose of getting pissed and there wasn’t a knife and fork in sight, just a packet of dry roasted nuts.