ProWein 2007: -- Bigger & Better than Ever, Initial Forecasts Exceeded as Show Concludes

Record Exhibitor Attendance from 43 Countries /Increased Demand for Higher Quality Wines and Rosés Confirmed/ Molecular Cocktails -- A First in Germany Intrigued Curious Crowds

ProWein 2007, the 14th annual exhibition of wines and spirits held at the Duesseldorf Messe Fair grounds here concluded this evening following its three-day run, March 18th – 20th, 2007.

Already prior to opening record exhibitor attendance from 43 countries signalled overall success as some 32,000 trade visitors from all corners of the globe convened to sample established products, investigate novelties, discover new trends, re-new business friendships and agreements and create new business.

Once again ProWein has vigorously demonstrated its ability to bring producers from Germany, Europe and every wine-producing area of the world together with key buyers from the gastronomy, hotel, and tourist trades as well as importers, wholesalers and retailers. Fine quality spirits were likewise represented, as specialty distillers displayed unusual products rarely exhibited at other venues. In all, 3,041 exhibitors were on hand.

Wilhelm Niedergoeker, Managing Director of the Duesseldorf Messe, noted that, "ProWein once again has demonstrated its leadership function setting the pace for the world’s wine and spirit business. ProWein is the only fair of its kind worldwide which provides a fully-comprehensive view of all aspects of the wine world, globally-speaking.

"Furthermore,” Mr Niedergoeker continued, “ ProWein’s clear position and open intent on encouraging business transactions at the show re-affirm ProWein’s importance as being the most important trade fair for the wine-and-spirits branch.”

Niedergoeker’s views were endorsed by Markus Eser, Key account Executive of Icon Wines, ME Constellation Europe. He said, "In recent years, ProWein has been able to demonstrate its leadership position at the top of the international wine-fair scene. As far as we are concerned, this importance has been acknowledged specifically because of ProWein’s definitive trade show character.

The media’s vastly increased interest in ProWein has contributed to its overall success as the presence of some 800 journalists from 34 countries including China, India and the USA actively demonstrated.

Fulfilling its role as branch leader, ProWein 2007 visitors witnessed once again many new trends about to break. An explosion of new items and themes awaited attendees. Of special notice in the wine area was the increased demand for Rosés, and for light, easy-drinking summer wines as well as wines from biological/ecological producers. The German Wine Institute, ProWein’s "spiritual partner" build its stand this year to reflect these evolving trends.

The German Wine Institute (GWI) Expresses Intense Satisfaction
On behalf of the German exhibitors, the German Wine Institute expressed great satisfaction with ProWein 2007. Especially gratifying was the presence of buyers from the vitally-important supermarket and food retailing trade. Of particular importance too was the renewed interest demonstrated by buyers for specialty stores in German wines which had not been the case in 2006.

The GWI was particularly gratified by the number of successful negotiations concluded at ProWein 2007 including contracts for end-of-current-year business. The Institute was most pleased by the high number of international trade attendees reflecting the increasingly great interest in German wines abroad.

The 2006 wines which were so eagerly awaited were very well received, the GWI reports. In addition to Rosé, which already was in the “winner’s circle” last year, were German white wines for which there is great demand. Riesling was predominantly called for followed by the Burgundy-style varietals Pinot blanc and pinot gris (Weissburgunder and Grauburgunder.)

At the conclusion of ProWein 2007, Norbert Weber, president of the German Vintners Association remarked that maintaining the rhythm of ProWein’s annual occurrance was of great importance, as ProWein’s seasonal, yearly provenance reflects the very nature of viticulture itself.

Mr Weber stated, " Every year in Spring our producers offer new, excellent wines and innovative products; ProWein provides a vital service by annually offering them to a large, highly-competent number of trade professionals maintaining ProWein’s yearly schedule is essential for the wine industry."

“R&R” – Riesling and Red Cuvées Continue to Enthral the Public
Of course, the Riesling Renaissance occurring worldwide these days was readily recognizable at ProWein 2007 as more than 400 different Riesling wines from 17 countries were on display in the ProWein central tasting area. These were accessible to all. This sheer number was topped only by ProWein 2007's secondary topic of the year – red wine cuvees. Here 580 wines from 20 countries attracted intense international attention by trade visitors reflecting the public’s renewed fascination with Germany’s “national grape” and also with the rich, contrasting nuances of every manner of red wine combination.

Cocktails, Spirits & Wine Related Delicacies
Certainly among ProWein’s most intriguing highlights was the German premiere of "molecular cocktails" as was witnessed daily in the "FIZZZ Spirits and Cocktail Lounge" where hundreds gathered to see unique cocktails being assembled. It also demonstrated the keen interest and important role distilled products play within the ProWein Fair Concept.

According to Hubertus Vallendar, distiller of highly unique spirits, one of the 200 distillers on hand this year, “For us, particularly for smaller and medium sized businesses, ProWein offers a very important platform with international repercussions. Already during the opening hours of the show, we were able to conduct many promising discussions with people from China, Russia, Italy and Austria.”

Another highly attractive venue at ProWein 2007 was the Special Show entitled, "Wine’s Best Friends." All manner of delicatessen specialties from olive oil, to fine vinegars, coffees, sausage, foie gras and many other treats showed their compatibility with many types and styles of wine. This proved helpful to many buyers wishing to enlarge or enhance their product palette for the coming year.

ProWein 2007 After Hours --"Went City"
As if all of the special programs, events, unparalleled tastings, in-depth discussions and intense conversations during ProWein 2007 at the Fairgrounds weren’t enough, few attendees failed to continue to enjoy even more program highlights after hours in Duesseldorf itself. The city’s reputation as being a town devoted to great wine and fine spirits let no one down as ProWein visitors sallied forth to restaurants, clubs, bars and retail stores pursuing their enjoyment.

One organized event, the Lust4Wine party, held in the Oberkasseler Wine Depot, organized by for the first time ever by Destination Duesseldorf saw 600 wine lovers show up to enjoy products from 40 top vintners from Germany, Italy, France, Portugal, Spain and South Africa.

Another local wine-related restaurant events is the “Tour de Menu” whose dates were extended to March 25th, 2007, in recognition of ProWein.

Planning Ahead: ProWein 2008 Dates Set for March 16th-18th, 2007
Wine and spirits producers, marketing and merchandising persons and trade personnel from all related fields will reconvene once again on Sunday, March 16th – Tuesday, March 18th, 2008, when ProWein 2008, the 15th consecutive ProWein annual returns to Duesseldorf Messe Fairgrounds.

Given this year’s record-breaking numbers, ProWein 2008 promises to continue its tradition going from one superlative to the next in terms of scope, special programs and events, unusual trends and attractions, and attendance by exhibitors and trade visitors, making ProWein the world’s most important annual trade show of its kind