03/31/2009

ProWein 2009 Exceeds all Expectations

Despite the tense economic situation worldwide, optimism reigns in the global wine and spirits industry as was witnessed at the ProWein International Wine and Spirits trade show held at the Düsseldorf Exhibition Grounds from 29th –31st March 2009.

More than 5% increase in attendance, to over 35,000, was registered by the show’s conclusion on 31st March, revealing trade enthusiasm for Germany’s foremost wine and spirit show. ProWein’s status as a leading international venue for the wine and spirits trade was further underlined by an increase of 12.5% amongst visitors from outside Germany. The greatest increases were from the USA, Scandinavia, the Benelux nations, Switzerland and Slovenia.

Highlights of the show were “Cool Climate Wines,” those wines exhibiting moderate alcohol content, Silvaner wines celebrating that varietal’s 350th anniversary and Vintage Cocktails. Organic wines, produced to the most stringent biological-ecological standards, remained as popular as ever.

The unique quality of the show and its international flair make ProWein the major meeting point for the wine and spirits industry. This year, some 3,180 exhibitors from all over the world took the opportunity to present their products in this unique setting. Amongst those represented were the classic European and international wine-growing areas as well as newcomers from Egypt and Algeria.

According to Wilhelm Niedergoeker, CEO of Messe Düsseldorf, “This year’s ProWein exceeded all expectations and thereby serves as an indication that the consumer sector is relatively stable.”

The exhibitors were also very positive: “ProWein was once again a complete success. We met all our important customers including many major buyers from our three major markets, namely Scandinavia, the Benelux and Eastern Europe,” said John Mills, senior vice president for UK & European Sales at Constellation Europe, the world’s largest wine marketing consortium.

Equally positive was the reaction of German exhibitors at the show. As the managing director of the German Wine Institute (DWI) Monika Reule stated, “From the German point of view ProWein 2009 went very well despite the global economic situation. ProWein serves as a annual barometer for the domestic and international wine market. The extremely positive response to the produce of German vintners leads us to believe that the German wine industry will not be so acutely affected by the current financial crisis. Apparently wine lovers are not prepared to give up their enjoyment of good wine even in these difficult times. Monika Reule maintains that ProWein continues to live up to its claim as the industry’s leading trade fair in the industry, not least because of the high quality of the decision-makers who visit.

Central Tasting Area
Once again this year, ProWein featured many interesting themes and top-calibre events. The unique central wine tasting zone at ProWein provided a concentrated overview of topics relevant to the marketplace. Red wines were presented as “cool climate wines,” displaying moderate alcohol content. Market trends reveal that consumers are leaning more towards flavourful, fresh red wines with clear fruit accents. Throughout the world red wine cultivation is increasing in importance in moderate climate zones. In the white wine area, the main focus was on Burgundian or “Pinot” varietals. Approximately 80% of ProWein visitors made use of the central tasting area which featured some 1,000 wines.

On everyone’s lips: Delicatessen and Wine
The wine-and-food dream team again came to life in the special presentation, “Wine’s Best Friends.” More than 30 suppliers provided useful inspiration to retailers for expanding and optimising their product range. The finest olive oils, Balsamic vinegars and pâtés were complemented by novel preserves, gourmet sauces, fine chocolate creations and unusual spice pastes. On each day of ProWein 2009 within the special show there were interesting presentations, featuring for example olive oils, herb and spice seminars on the salt and pepper theme, and seminars on wine and chocolate.

High-Power Novelties
ProWein’s spirits sector was also excellently presented. More than 300 exhibitors made use of this major trade fair in order to introduce their high-octane products. Vintage cocktails were presented daily in the FIZZZ trade magazine cocktail lounge and were a particular magnet for many appreciative guests. Bartender legend Bill Deck and his son David from Pusser’s in Munich mixed retro-style cocktails and also presented modern variations on the classic takes.

After the show: “ProWein goes City”
After-hours activities in Düsseldorf provoked plenty of discussion as more than 20 restaurants, wine shops and cultural sites in Düsseldorf and throughout the region took part in this year’s ProWein-related activities. This provided both trade participants and the general public with the opportunity to enjoy a variety of wine-related events in conjunction with the ProWein 2009 trade show.

ProWein 2010 – to another great year
Even as ProWein 2009 drew to a close, the date for ProWein 2010 has already been announced: 21st-23rd March 2010, to be immediately followed by the Intervitis Interfruchta fair in Stuttgart which will be held from 24th-28th March 2010. The co-operation between these two leading trade fairs will be showcased under the title “The Top Selection for Trade & Technology”, thus making Germany the No. 1 trade show platform for the global wine market.