Michael Degen, executive director of Messe Düsseldorf and director of the huge wines and spirits trade exhibition, Prowein, was speaking to Drinks International.
The show moves to halls 9-17 for this year’s show, which runs from March 15-17. There are 5,500 exhibitors across a gross area of 110,000 sq metres. Visitors last year amounted to 49,000 with the visitor numbers increasing on average between 8 and 11% year-on-year.
Degen told Drinks International: ” "The available space could not meet the demand for the last five or six years. So, now everyone is happy. We do not have to look just at the amount of exhibitor space. We can think more about the quality of visitors, look to get more US and Asian buyers to the show and create more lounging areas and resting zones."
He pointed to the new ‘Same but Different’ area in Hall 16 which will feature 10 participants, including projects from Germany, France, the Netherlands and Curacao, Spain and South Africa.
The concept behind it is to “offer a platform for innovative ideas and approaches but also stimulate inspiration and creative exchange of ideas within the sector”.
Degen cites Lukas Krauss, a young winemaker from the Pfalz region, who in tune with his trademark headgear divides his wines into ‘hat categories’ and who has hit the headlines with his "Pornfelder" wine (a cuvée of Portugieser and Dornfelder).
He also mentions ‘Metal and Wine’ Michael Spreckelmeyer who brings bands and winemakers together. Prowein might be featuring a band called Creator – watch that space.
There is also Ilse and Roelof Visscher who not only make wine in the Netherlands but also in the Caribbean. Using crowd funding they are financing their project on the island of Curacao.
From South Africa, are representatives from uniWines. Its ‘Palesa’ line of wines are Fairtrade said to be inspired by the passion and strength of African women and mothers. The proceeds from Palesa are used to fund corresponding social projects in the region.
Degen also mentions the FIZZZ Lounge in the spirit segment in Hall 12, subtitled: ‘Drinks of Tomorrow’ as part of the show’s move to innovation.
The big new entrant at Prowein is Wines of Bolivia. Eight estates from the South American nation. The big question is: Can Bolivia give Chile and Argentina a run for their money? Watch the Prowein space.