The IWSC enjoyed a record-breaking year at ProWein 2018, receiving more entries to the competition on the stand than ever before thanks to the operation of free bottle collection, which saved entrants money on shipping.
Meanwhile, 60 award-winning wines and spirits were presented for tasting on the IWSC stand, which welcomed trade visitors from all over the world.
The wines presented included IWSC Trophy winners: Villa Sandi Prosecco, Stellenrust Chenin Blanc, Jordan Wine Estate Chardonnay, Nederburg Cabernet Sauvignon and Levantine Hill Estate Syrah. There were also eight English sparkling wines, which provoked particular interest.
IWSC General Manager Adam Lechmere said, “The stand was buzzing all day. The English wines – Hambledon, Bolney Estate, Gusbourne, Stopham, Jenkyn Place – really made people stop and take notice. Amazingly, a lot of wine professionals around the world still haven’t tasted English sparkling so this was a great opportunity to get this wonderful wine in front of them.”
This was also a record-breaking year for the exhibition itself, with ProWein welcoming over 6,870 exhibitors from 64 countries.
Christophe Brunet, wine ambassador for Primum Familiae Vini (PFV), an international association of some of the world’s most revered family-owned producers – including Antinori, Torres, Symington, Hugel and Perrin - said that it had been “an excellent ProWein”.
“It’s always busy. On the first day we served almost 1,500 people on our stand. We know by the volume of glasses – we went through 2,500 glasses on the first day. When we see the numbers of professionals from the wine world we realise everybody is here.”
Indeed, over 60,000 trade visitors descended upon Düsseldorf over the course of the three-day fair, travelling to the northern German city from 113 different countries.
For some, this was their first time at the trade show. Twenty-three-year-old wine management student Victor Guibert and his peers from the Burgundy School of Business were on a field trip with their class.
“It’s really interesting because it’s the biggest fair we’ve ever been to. We went on a tour of all the wines in the new world; it was really cool to discover all the different regions – the scope is huge. Our favourite part of the fair was Hall 7, which was dedicated to craft spirits. It was interesting for us to discover all the craft distilleries. We will definitely come next year”.
It was also the first visit for Cathy Huyghe, founder and CEO of wine industry data company Enolytics. “I’m amazed that I’ve never been here before”, she said.
“It’s a great way to connect with a lot of people in a really short amount of time. They’re all here, and I think that really speaks to the effectiveness and the trajectory that ProWein is on.”
Meanwhile, ProWein veteran Nick Bevan, executive vice president for international business at Jackson Family Wines, who has attended the fair for ten years, said this year’s edition was the best so far.
“There’s been a better level of focus. The quality of attendance has been high. We have probably had less people just popping by for a glass of wine to see what we’re doing, and more people coming by to actually discuss business opportunities. Our expectation this year was to focus on our new Oregon properties [four in the Willamette Valley], and the response has been phenomenal.”