Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Russian buyers blocked from Barcelona

Published:  09 March, 2022

Twelve Russian wine buyers have been banned from attending the forthcoming Spanish wine fair, Barcelona Wine Week (BWW).

Javier Pagés, director of BWW, confirmed that Russian wine buyers had been banned from the second edition of the fair as part of the EU sanctions imposed against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Pagés said the Russian buyers had been invited to the fair through the BWW’s Hosted Buyers Programme, in which about 350 international buyers from 40 countries are expected to take part.

“We do not expect the war to directly influence BWW. The war affects the exports of Spanish wineries to the Ukrainian, Russian and Belarusian markets,” said Pagés.

“But this is independent from the trade show. In any case, Ukraine represents a very small market for Spanish wine. Russia is indeed a bigger market, but not so big as to endanger a winery.”

Meanwhile, Frank Smulders MW, who is speaking at BWW this year, told Harpers he had ended his role as a wine buyer for Russian retail company, O’Key.

“Due to the current situation, I am no longer representing O’Key Hypermarkets,” Smulders said.

Focusing in on events at BWW, Smulders will address the fair in a speech entitled ‘The Unknown Spain,’ a presentation of the international vision and interest of the European markets in Spanish wines made from indigenous grape varieties.

Smulders added that that he would also be showing his new Garnacha wines made from grapes grown on old vines in the north of Navarra. “I started producing my own wine in Navarra, so, I’ve actually changed my role from buying to selling,” he said.

Meanwhile, ‘The Versatility of Grenache in the Face of Climate Change’ will be discussed by a panel of experts including Sarah Jane Evans MW, sommelier Ferran Centelles, and Joan Ignasi Domenech, owner of Vinyes Domenech, one of most prestigious producers of Grenache.

Launched in 2020, as a spin-off of the Alimentaria fair, BWW is expecting a significant increase in trade attendance at its second edition, which takes places between 4 and 6 April this year.

Pagés said that the number of Spanish producers, from small to big brands, attending BWW will increase from 550 in 2020, to almost 650 this year. He added that the number of Spain’s Denominación de Origen (DO) appellation bodies in attendance will rise from 40 in 2020, to 60 (of a total of 67 DOs) this year.

Pagés added that BWW was “currently, the largest promotion showcase fair for Spanish wines”.