Staged between March 21 to 23 in Dusseldorf, Germany, ProWein 2010 ended with record visitor and exhibitor figures, reports Reva K. Singh. Dusseldorf is a multi faceted cosmopolitan city and a well-known centre for trade fairs. It is the capital of North Rhine-Westphalia which is Germany’s most densely populated state with a population of 30 million within a radius of 150 km. The city’s top notch facilities and infrastructure are well geared for prominent international events.
I was in town for Prowein 2010, International Trade Fair Wines and Spirits, organised by Messe Dusseldorf. Trade visitors from around the world were gathered here to network and transact business. Over 3,300 exhibitors and 36,000 trade visitors from around the world came to Düsseldorf, with one third from outside Germany. I found it to be a wonderful community experience, reconnecting with old contacts as well as learning about current trends and developments in the industry. The business-like style and atmosphere of the Show was remarkable.
All the major wine producing regions of the world had a significant presence along with international wine conglomerates like Constellation. Besides the big players like France, Italy, California, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Chile and Argentina, also present were Brazil, Uruguay, Egypt and Lebanon. Several new entrants in the wine world such as Thailand and Peru had booths although there was no exhibitor from India. I spent time at the Israeli booth tasting some really good wine and understanding what kosher wine stood for.
The Austrians with 300 participants occupied an entire hall and more. The Gruner Veltiner tasting I attended was three deep in tasters. Generation Riesling and VDP exhibitors were other highlights. The Show was a hive of activity. The impression I got was that exhibitors were very pleased with the quality of the visitors and their objectives were well served, whether it was in garnering greater market share by individual wineries or creating awareness about new initiatives in a highly competitive environment.
Besides wine, Prowein had a special delicatessen section geared for retailers and the hospitality industry called, “Wine’s Best Friends” where visitors could participate in wine and food pairing sessions. Most popular was the chocolate and wine booth where enthusiasts discovered that white chocolate goes with Arneis from Italy, milk chocolate with German spätlese, dark bitter chocolate with Carmenère from Chile (but not with Cabernet Sauvignon) and orange chocolate with Gewürtztraminer!
Messe Dusseldorf’s trade fair grounds comprise 18 exhibition halls covering more than 233,000 sq m, although not all were occupied by the wine fair. The well-lit, fully temperature controlled halls are clearly sign-posted with an electronic visitor information system (KATI), rest and relaxation areas, and numerous restaurants, bistros and snack bars. And, if you should require them, the Messe Centre offers further amenities such as a supermarket, post office and bank as well as hotel and airline reservation services with check-in facilities for a number of different airlines.