Slow Wine Fair 2024 focuses on soil fertility and access to a healthy soil for all 

27 Nov 2023 | English

The third edition of the international Slow Food event for good, clean and fair wine to be hold in Bologna, Italy, from February 25 to 27

The third edition of the Slow Wine Fair for good, clean and fair wine, organized by BolognaFiere and SANA, the International Organic and Natural Exhibition, with artistic direction by Slow Food, returns to Bologna from February 25 to 27, 2024, with online conferences from December 6.

Slow Wine Fair celebrates an approach to winemaking that embodies values like biodiversity conservation, the protection of the agricultural landscape, and resource preservation. It emphasizes the importance of wine as a culture, and as an authentic reflection of its region of origin, without sophistication or compromises. The fair hosts the third meeting of the Slow Wine Coalition, an inclusive, collaborative and international network that brings together the protagonists of the wine world: winemakers, enthusiasts and industry professionals. It’s an opportunity for debate among all the actors in the network, following in the footsteps of Terra Madre. This means that during the three days of the Slow Wine Fair, hundreds of producers from across Italy and the rest of the world will gather in Bologna to discuss the future of wine and winemaking, joining forces to write their vision collectively.

Soil Fertility

At the heart of Slow Wine Fair is the theme of soil fertility and its importance, both for agriculture and beyond. Thanks to life in the soil, every wine represents the meaning of the term ‘terroir.’ In the top 30 cm of the earth, 30% of all terrestrial biodiversity is preserved. It’s a universe of symbiosis and interaction between microorganisms, fungi, and roots that allows vines to express unique, specific aromas. Soil which is in great danger, as the environmental crisis concerning soil is one of the most underestimated. Seventy percent of all European soils are in poor health due to current management practices, pollution, urbanization, and the effects of climate change, and agriculture also bears its responsibility. Unplanned agricultural practices and intensive monocultures have accelerated degradation and erosion. The natural role of agriculture should be to restore soil fertility. The soil, like food, should be considered a right to be guaranteed for all, not a commodity that increasingly turns agricultural and natural land into artificial areas. Slow Wine Fair 2024 conveys a clear message: the right for everyone to have healthy soil for a good wine, soil that we need to cultivate, inhabit, and live.

“The success of the Slow Wine Fair is due to our focused work on content that is central to our commitment to promote viticulture capable of revolutionizing the agricultural system and presenting wine to the world as it truly is”, comments Giancarlo Gariglio, Coordinator of the Slow Wine Coalition and of the Slow Wine Guide. “It’s a product of grape pressing that, when cultivated virtuously and with agricultural practices that preserve soil health and vitality, can contribute to improving the planet’s health and creating a more equitable economic and social system. It can also revitalize the fabric of hillside towns that are at risk of abandonment and depopulation. In addition, the selection of wineries that adhere to the Slow Wine Manifesto, and the systematic tasting of their bottles to participate in the fair, allows us to offer buyers and the HoReCa sector, as well as enthusiasts, a consistent and high-quality offer unmatched elsewhere. Finally, the numerous tasting opportunities with Masterclasses and scheduled meetings are a chance to delve into the hottest topics in the world of wine.”

Exhibitors

Slow Wine Fair has established itself as one of the most relevant events on the national and international stage thanks primarily to its exhibitors. The selection process begins seven months before the official start of the event, thanks to a tasting commission. As of now, over 400 exhibitors have been confirmed, with a particular focus on those producing organic and/or biodynamic wine. Among the producers who have already confirmed their presence, there are representatives from Austria, France, Germany, and Spain, as well as from further afield, including Argentina, Australia, Chile, China, Georgia and Turkey.

Domenico Lunghi, Director of Direct Events at BolognaFiere, states, “Our aim is to strengthen the Slow Wine Fair, which, in just two editions, has carved out a specific place on the calendar of European wine fairs. Numerous foreign buyers have already confirmed their presence in 2024 to enrich their wine lists. With the support of various partners, from ICE to the Chambers of Commerce, and our network of foreign agents, we are gathering many applications from operators in Central-Northern Europe, where sustainable wine is in high demand, especially if it’s organic or biodynamic.”

The Program

Online Conferences – Slow Wine Fair opens with three online conferences scheduled ahead of the event. for December 6, January 17, and February 7. The central theme is soil, approached from various angles. Together with experts Lydia and Claude Bourguignon and Francesco Sottile, agronomist and a member of Slow Food’s board, they discuss soil regeneration and fertility in Living Soil, Living wine on December 6. During Soil: a common good on January 17, Saverio Traini, agronomist and Vice President of the Biodistrict San Gimignano, Pau Moragas Bouyat, manager L’Olivera Cooperative and member of Urban Vineyards Association, and and sustainability consultant Íñigo Álvarez de Toledo, address the soil as a common good and the need for politics to protect it. Finally, during Roots against the climate crisis on February 7, the discussion focuses on soil as a tool for mitigating the effects of climate change, with contributions from Viviana Ferrario, associate professor at the IUAV University of Venice, Francesco Bordini, agronomist and wine consultant, and Pedro Parra, terroir expert, Adriano Zago, director of Cambium training, the first international master in biodynamics for wine.

Conferences are free, online and available in Italian and English.

Masterclasses –  guided tastings aimed at enthusiasts and industry professionals, provide an opportunity to explore the Italian and international wine landscape.

The Wine Retail Awards for Terroir and Slow Spirit return, part of a collaboration between Slow Food and Milano Wine Week. These awards are given by enthusiasts and professionals to wine shops, restaurants, osterias, bistros, and pizzerias that showcase wines from one of the twelve featured categories.

Slow Wine Fair also welcomes the Italian Amaro Fair and other spirits obtained through the distillation of cereals, fruits, or vegetables that have undergone alcoholic fermentation. This includes brandy, rum, vodka, gin, and much more.

There is a section of the event dedicated to companies that, through innovative machinery, equipment, and technologies, contribute to the renewal of the agricultural system and enable winemakers to adopt sustainable and environmentally-friendly production methods.

Buyers and professionals, who will have access to the Slow Wine Fair every day in 2024, can also take advantage of the digital matching service available on the event’s website. The world of Ho.re.ca is extensive and diverse, enriched by the involvement of restaurants friendly to Slow Food. The 2024 edition of the Fair also places an emphasis on national importers and distributors, whose catalogs reflect the selection present at the event. Additionally, the event can rely on significant efforts in scouting foreign operators through collaboration with ICE and foreign specialized agencies: Faye Cardwell (Bavaria, Germany), Danitacom (Denmark), and Strive International Consulting Ltd.

Useful materials

Tickets and times

Pictures archive

Videos Archive

The fair is sponsored by the City of Bologna and is realized with the support of ICE – the Agency for the promotion abroad and the internationalization of Italian companies of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Enoteca Regionale dell’Emilia-Romagna, FederBio, and Fipe, Confcommercio Ascom Bologna. Slow Wine Fair 2024 enjoys the collaboration of Amaroteca and ANADI – the National Association of Italian Amaro, Demeter, and Tannico. The main partners of the event are Luigi Bormioli, Reale Mutua, and WinterHalter. In-kind partners include Acqua S.Bernardo, Gruppo Saida, Pulltex. Media partners are Bar.it, Green Retail, Horecanews.it, I Grandi Vini, Italy Export, Premiata Salumeria Italiana, Radio Wellness, TecnAlimentaria Beverage Industry, tabUi, and Terra Nuova.

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