From 18th to 20th March 2018, anyone who is anyone in the Wines and Spirits industry was heading to Messe Dusseldorf in Dusseldorf Germany for Prowein (The Worlds No: 1 International Trade Fair for Wines and Spirits).
This year saw over 6,870 exhibitors from 64 countries around the globe. I have never been to such a grand fair in my life. I have attended Cape Wine in 2015 but this was like that in the concept but scaled to 100 in size.
Not only did we get to see what is new in the world of wine but in spirits as well. There were over 60,000 visitors and I can attest to that because it was even hard making my way through the booths because there were people walking, tasting wines, explaining, learning and networking.
As a wine blogger from Kenya, this was a great opportunity for me to network. The first day was about taking it all in. The sheer numbers and magnitude of the fair required me to sit down and strategize how I would start this. I decided to start with the larger wine-producing countries on the first day and then head to the less talked about countries on the second and third days.
383 Wines Tasted
I tasted a total of 383 Wines during my 1 week in Germany and most of this was done at Prowein. I remember a fellow Wine & Spirits Journalist mentioned that this was like speed dating. After every stand, we were on to the next ones trying to taste their wines, take notes and network. Some of my favorite wines were at the Wines of Macedonia booth simply because I met the head of trade and we tasted about 20 new grape varieties with her. She really took her time to explain everything.
Attendance and Quality
When it comes to attendance, there were so many industry experts and the quality of each booth was outstanding. The wineries and booths could create whatever they wanted and they would make their stands and booths as unique as possible. I saw some pretty unique booths. When it comes to quality, every winery/company gave its best. They presented all their brands and they had marketing materials at every visitor’s disposal. They were very keen and they explained about their products to the visitors. Because I knew the fair would be huge, I had already booked a few appointments online beforehand and I had a system to how I would visit the booths. According to Prowein Statistics, 50% of their visitors came from abroad. In fact, when I was getting to Dusseldorf airport, it was like everyone was here for Prowein and there were so many visitors. For any person in this industry, the quality of leads and networking options afforded by this gathering were phenomenal.
During the first day, I was very interested in Germany, France, Australia and Italy and I visited many wineries. On the 2nd day, I visited Wines of Hungary, Wines of Crete, Wines of Romania and Wines of Macedonia. On the third day, I visited the Same But Different Stand which was the buzzing hotspot for all things craft brews and spirits. (New post coming up)
The trade fair was informative and stimulating and having personal conversations with exhibitors then going ahead to taste the wines was a great experience for me. It was the closest I could get to physically visiting all these regions. There were also forums and pop up events at different stands and people would decide what they want.
There was also a champagne section in hall #12. We got to taste and learn about different types of Champagne. Just like the drink, the region was very beautiful, embellished with minimalistic décor and white carpets. There were over 40 champagne producers in attendance.
More stories and blogposts coming up about Prowein and my time in Germany.
Special Thanks to Messe Dusseldorf, Prowein Trade Fair and Wines of Germany for making this possible.