What do you get when you mix together a group of enthusiastic Les Roches students and some of the best wine producers from Switzerland? The answer: World of Wines (WOW) Expo 2017, a fantastic one-day event open to the public.
A Grape Idea
Just how did WOW Expo, which had its second edition on 8 April, get started? Les Roches BBA student Andrea Duran, Head of Marketing for WOW Expo 2017, summed it up:
One day, a small group of students decided to dust off hundreds of lonely bottles and discover the rich world of wines that we live in. However, they also wanted to share this discovery with other people — and thus, WOW Expo was born. Run by students and held right here at Les Roches Bluche, WOW Expo is a one-day wine exposition dedicated to showcasing the quality and diversity of Swiss wines.
Like its predecessor, WOW Expo 2017 highlighted the variety of Swiss wines by inviting top producers from across the country. Attendees had the opportunity to taste flavors from as near as Sierre and as far as Ticino. But in addition to focusing on Swiss indigenous grapes, this year’s WOW Expo also showcased unusual wines from around the world.
On the Road of Forgotten Wines
Both students and local residents came to enjoy a social day of wine discovery on campus in Bluche. While attendees mingled with wine producers and tasted Swiss flavors in the main lobby, interactive workshops were also held in the morning and afternoon.
Six workshops took place throughout the day, led by:
- French wine tourism startup Vinizos
- Swiss wine subscription service Wiine.me
- Wine advisor and lecturer Nicolas Bourassin
- Wine blogger Madelyne Meyer (Edvin.)
- Sommelier and wine estates expert Ronan Lieugard
- Writer and wine educator Cees van Casteren
Industry professionals introduced participants to fascinating topics, such as local vs. global wine tourism strategies, digital sommeliers and the unique conditions of high-altitude Bolivian wineries. Meanwhile, participants were invited to sample wines from Serbia, Russia, Spain, France and Bolivia.
This year’s edition of WOW Expo also featured a blind tasting competition, in which contestants had to guess the origins of five New World wines, and plenty of raffle prizes from sponsors, including Hôtel Royal, Montblanc, Vins du Valais and Vinea. To cap off the day, a “Hôtel Royal VIP Dinner” was held for sponsors and guest speakers — entirely prepared and run by WOW Expo student organizers, who did a terrific job!
Student Perspective: Behind the Scenes of WOW Expo 2017
“This semester I had the amazing opportunity of being part of the team for the second edition of WOW Expo. It’s funny now to look back on our first meeting, where some of us were very shy when introducing ourselves. From the first day until the very last minute, we all worked very hard to put the show together. It wasn’t all easy — in fact, it was stressful and we disagreed on many things, and sometimes even believed we were not going to make it.
Right after coming back from our mid-term break, a both nerve-wracking and exciting week was awaiting us. We worked the night before and the morning of the event non-stop to prepare the lobby for WOW Expo. When the day of the event finally arrived, I was very happy that after weeks of struggle, everyone worked nicely as a team and everything turned out great. We received many compliments from faculty and guests. Our hard work had paid off.
I learned so much during the entire process, had a lot of fun and met new people. I must admit that this event took a lot of time, energy and peace of mind — but if I could go back, I would definitely do it again.”
— Les Roches BBA student Andrea Duran, Head of Marketing for WOW Expo 2017