Miami International Wine Fairs serves great wines and much more By Betty Alvarez

The 9th annual Miami International Wine Fair (“MIWF”) presented its largest program to date with more than 1,800 wines from 18 countries and 70,000 exhibitor square-feet featuring the world’s top-rated wines. Organizers extended the traditional two-day event into a comprehensive four-day trade, education and grand tasting program. The first day, October 14, 2010, offered exclusive trade seminars catering to the exhibitors, while tastings and seminars were open to the public on October 15 and 16 at the Miami Beach Convention Center. On Sunday, October 17, closing festivities took place off-site with the hugely successful inaugural “Ceviche Throwdown,” a charity event produced in partnership with SUGARCANE raw bar grill and South Florida Foodies.

“We are very excited about the result of this year’s Wine Fair,” said David Bernad, MIWF founder and president. “Not only does the economy seem to be on a path to recovery, but we are seeing more foreign producers than ever determined to invest in the United States wine market. With wine consumption lagging in Europe and across the world, wineries are flocking to our Fair to establish new distribution channels while solidifying their existing relationships.”

2010 Fair highlights include:
• Castilla La Mancha announced wine sales upward of 50,000 cases to California and Texas retail chains
• Eighteen percent more wines were available for tasting at this year’s Fair
• Seven percent increase in ticket sales, which led to a total attendance of more than 6,800 visitors
• Newcomer, Wines of Chile, stood-out with their presentation of exceptional wineries by wearing yellow mining helmets on Saturday, October 16, as a tribute to the 33 miners rescued from the San Jose Mine just three days prior
• Sold-out seminars, including “Sushi & Sake” by SUSHISAMBA and “How To Taste Wine – Objectively!”
Further, Castilla La Mancha held a reception at the Fontainebleau on Friday, October 15 to unveil its newest collection of wines. In attendance was José Luis Martínez Guijarro, President of Fundación Tierra de Viñedos and Regional Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development for Spain’s Castilla La Mancha; City of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado; Commissioner Deedee Weithorn; Chief of Staff Michael Llorente; and master of ceremonies Jorge Estevez of CBS television, who joined local community and business leaders, food and wine enthusiasts, and VIP guests.

Wine buyers raved about the unique experience and diverse selection of wines the Fair had to offer:
• “One of the few wine industry shows that affords the opportunity to meet with numerous owners and representatives of wines that are not currently imported in the United States market.” – Eric Blanz, Liberty Wine Selections, New York
• “The only wine fair in the United States that truly has a diverse range of splendid wines representing countries from all over the world.” – Matt Reibel, Wine Gallery, Massachusetts
• “Outstanding quality and diversified wines abound.” – Alan Sazant, Cellar Masters of South Florida, Florida
• “The quality of wine and opportunity to work with new suppliers to the US market, make this a ‘can’t miss’ event.” – Douglas Due, Grocery Outlet, California

Parallel to its public appeal, MIWF offered Latin American and European wine producers a platform to forge valuable trade relationships. As a result of the 2010 agenda, more than 1,900 meetings were secured between wine buyers and exhibitors. On the heels of last year’s success, an expanded wine buyer program; an industry-only tasting and targeted wine dinners were major components of the Fair. Organizers wrapped-up the ninth edition successfully, exceeding last year’s achievements and visitor expectations.

About Miami International Wine Fair
The Miami International Wine Fair is owned and managed by VINTRADE LLC, a South Florida- based corporation established by David Bernad and Madrid-based Emporio Ferial S.A., an international event planning and production company that organizes dozens of annual wine shows, including Iberwine. For more information please visit

Photographs by Betty Alvarez