QOOT Cluster partnered with Vinifest, Lebanon’s biggest annual wine festival, to promote the best of Lebanese wines, beers, and other alcoholic beverages to the local community in a festive environment. The participation included multiple activities, including product showcasing, buyer meetings, and wine masterclasses. In this context, the Dutch Embassy in Beirut was the guest of honor for this year’s edition of Vinifest. The Dutch Ambassador, Mr. Hans Peter van der Woude, mentioned his pride throughout his opening word about what the QOOT cluster reached in a short period. Ramy Boujawdeh, COO of Berytech, also took to the stage to confirm that: “Through collaboration, we believe that we can make much more. Both Berytech and QOOT believe in innovation and the innovative potential of Lebanon. We have been working with academia, government institutions, and international partners to build on the immense R&D potential that our country has to offer, among many other exciting factors.”
Vinifest 2022 Activities for QOOT members
QOOT designed its Vinifest booth to maximize interaction between the showcasing members and eager tasters. Visitors flowed to tasting stations to try different alcoholic beverages and cheeses. Exhibiting members included Atibaia Winery, Colonel Beer, Riachy Vineyards, and Rechmaya Distillery in the alcohol section and Go Baladi, Dry & Raw, and Solers in the food section.
A delegation of 5 international stakeholders was in-bounded to participate in this event. The delegation consisted of 3 wine buyers, one sommelier, and one food journalist.
During the event, a rough number of 100 business meetings were set up between QOOT members and other local producers, with international buyers, including Jasper Smit from the Netherlands, Bartlomiej Sarecki from Poland, and Frank Mathys from Belgium, accompanied by Jeroen Doucet from the Dutch Wat Schaft De Podcast. Members took rounds of meeting buyers in the market for their category of products. Successful meetings would result in a business deal, opening a European export line for Lebanese products; indeed, seven business deals have been signed until now due to these B2B meetings.
QOOT also organized two wine-themed masterclasses with award-winning Dutch sommelier Lukas Wiegman, who was invited to share his expertise in two unique sessions. The first masterclass, “How to Taste Wine Like a Professional,” was in an outdoor classroom with an educational slide presentation. Mr. Wiegman explained the diverse types of wines and their origins while giving the participants a rounded tasting session.
The second masterclass introduced the unique fusion between Lebanese wines and mezze. This session was a collaboration between Lukas Wiegman and Michelin Chef Fadi Rbeiz from USEK Business School and his hospitality students. This unique masterclass had a very engaged audience eager to taste the delicacies while learning about the science of pairing wine with mezze.
The delegation also included a Dutch Food journalist, Jeroen Doucet, cofounder of the most-heard Food podcast channel in the Kingdom of the Netherlands (Wat Schaft de Podcast). To transmit this culture to Dutch consumers, Mr. Doucet was immersed in a three-day experience related to the Lebanese Food and Drinks culture.
Last, the delegation agreed on the uniqueness of this trip as it is a definite opening toward Business opportunities.
To watch Instagram stories of the event, click here.