I became an honorary Gin Rectifier last night (May 9). I took an oath and now I am duty bound to promote the best interests of gin.
The Düsseldorf-based show, which ran from March 4-6, offered visitors a chance to meet 3,830 wine and spirits exhibitors from 50 counties around the world.
Attendance numbers for 2012 bettered those of the 2011 event, when 3,635 exhibitors and 39,034 visitors were present.
According to Messe Düsseldorf, there was particular growth in the number of exhibitors from France, Argentina, Australia and China.
Australian producer Neil McGuigan of McGuigan wines, a stalwart of the London International Trade Fair (LIWF), made his debut at this year's ProWein and described the show as "huge" with "more wine than he'd ever seen before in once place".
McGuigan said that LIWF would no longer be his automatic choice of trade wine shows, that he would "flip-flop" between the two shows and that ProWein offered the chance to tap into eastern and central European distribution.
Fifty percent of ProWein's visitors were of "international wholesale, retail and specialist retail" derivation, said organisers, while the restaurant and the hotelier trade made up the second largest visitor group.
According to Messe Düsseldorf, more than 60% of visitors were "top management" and 80% of visitors were "directly involved in purchase decision making".
Hans Werner Reinhard, deputy managing director of Messe Düsseldorf, said: "In addition to the great international flair at the event the expertise of visitors also confirmed ProWein as the decision-makers' fair."
Monika Reule, managing director of the German Wine Institute, said: “The great interest taken in our wines by the top-notch international audience, from both the retail and restaurant trade and the media, was an accolade to the quality of the 2011 vintage – one available here in Düsseldorf for the first time in this scope.
"The wines presented a wonderfully balanced and fruity flavour already at this early stage. Gratifyingly, after the small harvest of the previous vintage, sufficient quantities were once again available in virtually all German wine-growing regions. This means the sector can meet the sustained high demand for our wines largely with no problem at all.”