Italy’s wine industry displays its magic at the ProWein 2004

Top Subjects: The 2003 Vintage, Culinary Delights & Wine, International Trends

An extremely positive atmosphere prevailed at ProWein 2004, the three-day event closing on 2 March. The consumer climate for wines and spirits is obviously favourable. Even after the second day of the fair many of the approximately 2,700 exhibitors from 38 countries reported good business deals or promising contacts. Some 30,000 experts, 5,000 of these from abroad (2003: 28,431 visitors/17 per cent international), visited the world’s largest international trade fair for wines and spirits so as to gather information on its wide variety of ranges and to place orders. Summing up on the event Business Unit Head at Messe Düsseldorf Dr. Manfred Kotschedoff said: “From the trade fair company’s point of view we are extremely satisfied with how this year’s ProWein went; the 30,000 mark was exceeded for the first time. Both the number and profile of trade visitors confirms once again our exhibition concept of keeping this a thoroughbred trade fair.”

“In the eyes of the German exhibitors ProWein 2004 was a success across the board,” rejoices Armin Göring, General Manager of German Wine Institute DWI. “The throngs of visitors at the presentation stands of our member firms were disproportionately high and response was nothing but positive. Retailers were naturally especially keen to taste the first wines from the exceptional 2002 vintage which – according to the unanimous view of experts - even exceeds their high expectations. The trade fair was a true reflection of the positive mood in the German wine business and quite in contrast to the general economic trends,” Armin Göring continued.

The 653 Italian exhibitors (the second largest national participation after Germany with 746 exhibitors) also take an extremely positive view. Summing up Dr. Guiseppe Torina of the Instituto Regionale Viti e Vino said: “We are very happy with the results of ProWein 2004. We managed to win numerous new accounts to add to our existing customer base and were able to address the experts in the trade we would not reach at the Vinitaly event in Verona.”

For the 407 French exhibitors this year’s ProWein was also very successful. “Above all on the first day of the fair Hall 5 was extraordinarily well attended. Over the three days of the event more than 2,500 visitors used this opportunity to gather information on the varied ranges offered by France as an wine nation at the France 2004 tasting zone. This means that France 2004 was able to register 60% more visitors than in the previous year,” said Charles Collard, Director of Sopexa Germany. The other exhibitors at the French Pavilion also said they were very satisfied with the outcome of the fair and were pleasantly surprised with the avid interest taken by German and foreign trade visitors in view of the difficult business climate.

As expected, one of the hottest topics at ProWein was the current 2003 vintage. The past “summer of the century” produced an exceptional vintage in almost all European wine-growing regions. At ProWein the professionals were now able to try their first samples – and see most of their expectations fulfilled.

International trade circles also addressed design issues concerning wine bottles (e.g. the contest of the German Wine Institute) and suitable bottle closures (natural or man-made cork, screw or crown caps). High attendance was also guaranteed at all exhibitor events dealing with the combination of wine and other culinary delights (e.g. chocolate and wine or Californian Wine&Dine).

A top magnet for visitors was once again the open international tasting programme organised by Messe Düsseldorf and Meininger Publishing where over 700 different international white and red wines of the Burgundy grape varieties and 130 international sparkling wines were available for tasting. For visitors this highlight has now become an integral part of ProWein.

The dates for ProWein 2005 in Düsseldorf are 6 to 8 March.