ProWein 2006: Hub of the Global Wine Business

ProWein 2006 is more international than ever before with the event boast-ing the most comprehensive range of wines and spirits worldwide: around 2,900 exhibitors from 46 countries will be presenting their products in Düsseldorf to around 28,000 international professionals from the retail and restaurant/catering trade from 26 to 28 March. With over 37,000 m2 of net exhibition space the forthcoming ProWein will also be its largest since débuting in 1994. “These figures clearly underline the fact that ProWein is the hub of the global business,“ said Dr. Manfred Kotschedoff, Director Show Division 2 at Messe Düsseldorf GmbH, at the opening press confer-ence on 20 March. Worldwide, 72 m hl of wine, were exported in 2004 and this is a growing trend. Germany has been the world’s leading importer for many years now. Over half the per capita consumption of 19.9 litres (11.3 litres) come from Italy, France, Spain and the New World.

Vinophile World tour of the Five Continents
The range of products at ProWein is as international as the wine and spir-its business itself. Almost all wine and spirit producing countries of the world fly their flags at this international fair: classic wine nations from Europe, new suppliers from the New World, newcomers from Eastern Europe as well as new discoveries (like Brazil or China).

The point of departure for this world tour is Germany whose 738 exhibitors make it the largest nation represented at ProWein. This is then followed by Italy with 614 exhibitors, France (419 exhibitors), Spain (325 exhibitors) and Austria (237). This means ProWein offers the most comprehensive presentation of the five classic wine nations of Europe at any one loca-tion. ProWein 2006 also boasts the largest ever contingent of Eastern European wine growers at a fair of this kind: 186 exhibitors from 20 East-ern European countries – such as Bosnia-Herzegovina, Slovenia and Hun-gary – are represented in Düsseldorf.

The world tour then departs from the European continent moving further a field to the New World. South America is represented with Argentina, Bra-zil, Chile and Mexico and, now back after a few years’ absence, also Uru-guay. Obviously, the USA – and especially California – will be also using the platform of ProWein for its export activities. Other focuses of attrac-tion are likely to be the joint stands of South Africa, Australia and New Zealand where some of the 2006 vintage will also be available for tasting.

Central Tasting Programme

Another key component to the fair’s success is the tasting programme run by Messe Düsseldorf since 1995 in cooperation with the publishing house Meininger Fachverlag. This year the focus will be on autochthonous and varietal wines – or more provocatively put “Anything but Chardonnay“. 474 white wines from 18 countries and 623 red wines from 29 countries offer a representative cross-section of this product group.

“The Colourful World of Branded Liqueurs “ is the motto of the spirits tast-ing programme. 44 dry, semi-sweet, herb, soft, cream and fruit liqueurs will be available for tasting in the central tasting zone in Hall 6. According to the German Federal Association of the Spirits Industry, demand for li-queurs has been rising for years now: while in 2001 around 95 million 0.75l bottles were sold in food retail, last year the figure was already as high as 111 million bottles (+16.8%). The share accounted for by liqueurs in the spirits market as a whole stands at about 30%.

Also from an overall perspective, there is probably almost no other fair that offers such a comprehensive and varied range of spirits as ProWein. It features both suppliers of exquisite brandies and globally active branded spirits merchants. The range here spans small-scale suppliers of fine spirits and vine growers’ products through to global players and branded spirits merchants.