Expected to attract more than 53,000 visitors to Düsseldorf over three full-throttle days, ProWein 2016 looks set to be the biggest and most diverse yet. Find out what you can’t afford to miss here.
Anivin de France at ProWein 2016
Taking a stand at ProWein once again this year will be Anivin de France, which will be showcasing its recently unveiled ‘best value’ Vin de France wines for 2016.
The competition, now in its seventh year, is organised by French trade organisation Anivin de France to pick out the best quality examples of the Vin de France classification, with top performers awarded a Gold or Silver medal to display on their label. A total of 394 wines were entered into his year’s competition, representing a 6% rise in entries on last year.
Judged during the Best Value Vin de France Selection Tasting in February, 118 wines were awarded a Gold or Silver medal, 17 Gold and 111 Silver, by a panel of 45 international wine experts from 10 countries. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc dominated the whites, alongside a smattering of Viognier. Merlot, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon dominated the reds. There was also a healthy showing of varieties including Tannat, Cinsault and Malbec.
“Vin de France is very relevant,” said Jessica Hutchinson, judge and buyer at Vindependent UK. “The wines are simple to understand with a good quality-to-price ratio and there is volume available.” Marcia Waters MW, buyer at The Oxford Wine Company, meanwhile said she felt the standard of wines on offer meant that Vin de France could now “compete in the global market”. All 118 award-winning wines will be showcased at ProWein in Hall 11/Stand A93.
It’s that time of year again, when the drinks trade packs its bags and decamps to Germany for one of the industry’s biggest trade fairs – ProWein.
From 13-15 March more than 6,000 exhibitors from 57 countries will converge on the city of Düsseldorf with 53,000 people expected to stream through the doors of its exhibition centre. It might be one fair among many in an increasingly packed industry calendar, but ProWein’s international appeal is unrivalled, according to Messe Düsseldorf’s director Michael Degen, setting it apart as one of the year’s most important events.
Acknowledging that the number of trade fairs on offer is now so huge there “aren’t enough days in the year” to attend them, Degen doesn’t necessarily see such events as competitors.
“There is no event as international as ProWein,” says Degen, the event’s director. “In Düsseldorf we reflect the entire world of wines. This year, 57 nations are represented as exhibitors. This in turn attracts visitors from all over the world – from more than 120 countries – visitors who are so vital to our exhibitors and who gain a perfect overview here.”
WINE AND SPIRITS
Now 22 years old, the show will represent all wine-growing regions alongside a comprehensive range of spirits from across the world. As expected, the largest producers hail from France, Italy, Germany, Spain and Austria. But ProWein also boasts a line-up of producers from “exotic wine regions”, says Degen, citing examples like the Near East with Syria, Israel and Lebanon, as well as Eastern Europe with Moldavia, Latvia and Hungary.
From the New World, Canada’s presence this year will be “stronger than ever” with a total of 22 exhibitors attending. For the first time Mauritius and Korea will be at the fair, bolstering the event’s focus on spirits, while newly extended opening times promise to ease post-fair traffic and lengthen exhibitors’ time with clients. The show will now open from 10am to 7pm with the aim of “relaxing” the situation on roads and public transport around the grounds of the exhibition centre to avoid clashing with morning and evening rush hour traffic.
WHAT’S ON OFFER
So aside from its 6,200 exhibitor stands, offering plentiful opportunity to do business, what can visitors expect from this year’s fair? As always the fair’s main tasting area will be devoted to 500 wines from the Mundus Vini spring tasting – a prize awarded by an international jury of oenologists, wine analysts, specialist retailers, sommeliers, restaurateurs and trade journalists.
After three successful editions the Champagne Lounge – an area dedicated exclusively to Champagne – will return in 2016. The ProWein Forum will host a programme of themed tastings, seminars and lectures on markets and trends in the fair’s central presentation area. Here, Wine Intelligence will present the latest results of the ProWein study on future trends in wine retail, while the IWSR will give tips on how to reach younger consumers.
Other highlights include a lecture by winemaker Bruce Jack on the development of the South African wine industry and a seminar by Chinese oenologist Professor Li Demei on how to do successful business in China. The forum will be complemented by anever-diverse array of events hosted by individual exhibitors at their own stands, from presentations and seminars to vintage and archive tastings.
‘Same but different’ will promote innovation
Making its debut in 2016 is The Organic Lounge. Hosted by three associations – Demeter, Bioland and Ecovin – this area will showcase organic and biodynamic wines paired with a selection of foods created by organic chef Karsten Bessai. Back for a second year, the fair’s “same but different” show will present “innovative solutions” for the production and marketing of wine with the aim of fostering the exchange of creative ideas within the sector. Innovations due to be presented by 10 participants this year include an “entirely blue wine” and wine presented in barrique oak bottles.
“It is extremely important for producers to hold their own alongside the mass of market players,” explains Degen. “Brands need a face, an unusual story that everyone can remember. It is not enough to merely rely on your product. Creative ideas and coherent marketing are more important than ever.”
Outside the fair’s walls, the popular ProWein goes City initiative will return, marking its 10th year, which will see select hotels, restaurants and retailers organise exclusive events in Düsseldorf for visitors to ProWein. Last year more than 80 events were hosted across the city, with one highlight being a wine evening with Château Palmer at Steigenberger Parkhotel.