19th March, 2014 by Rupert Millar
It is worth remembering that ProWein is 20 this year and while there’ll be no major celebrations, it’s fascinating to see how far it’s come.
The first show was actually called Pro Vins and took place on the 23-24 February 1994. It featured 321 wine, sparkling wine and spirit producers from Germany, Austria, Colombia, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Portugal and Spain. It occupied one hall of around 2,914m² and attracted 1,517 visitors, just 250 of whom didn’t come from Germany.
It grew steadily and became ProWein in 1995 and in 1996 it opened for three days, which is the current format. In 1997 the number of exhibitors hit the 1,000 mark and included Robert Mondavi in person. Other aspects of the fair such as the Tasting Zone, Wine’s Best Friends, and the FIZZZ cocktail lounge have grown up just prior to and post 2007.
The figures for 2013 were: 4,792 exhibitors (82% of whom were non-German), from 48 countries, occupying 51,919m² and with 45,168 visitors. Of those visitors, 43% were non-Germans, a number which has risen considerably even since 2002 when the figure was still fewer than 14%.
Although the fair is marking time this year when it comes to expansion, it still has one eye on the future.
Sadly Messe Düsseldorf decided that throwing a party for some 50,000 people is out of the question but they have commissioned a report from Wine Intelligence which considers the state the wine market will be in by 2034 – another 20 years down the line.
Some of the key findings can be found on the following pages and the full report will be made available at ProWein.