The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

ProWein sets new records in 2017

NZ Winegrowers stand at ProWein

The world’s largest wine trade fair, ProWein, has set a new record for visitors and exhibitors with more than 70 separate wineries represented from New Zealand.

Exhibiting on the NZ Winegrowers stand were 28 separate wineries including: Allan Scott, Babich, Coopers Creek, Craggy Range, Giesen, Mission Estate, Saint Clair and more.

Also attending ProWein on their own stands were other New Zealand wineries Yealands, Villa Maria and Marisco, as well as other brands exhibited by distributors.

More than 6,500 exhibitors from 60 countries were represented at ProWein in 2017, with 58,500 trade visitors from 130 countries up from 55,700 and 126 countries last year. The show organisers Messe Düsseldorf confirmed that one in two visitors attended the fair from abroad and at least two-thirds of all visitors were decision-makers.

“ProWein is an incredibly intensive trade fair. For three days very concentrated and effective business goes on here,” says Hans Werner Reinhard, Managing Director of Messe Düsseldorf. “Visitors particularly included key players – important importers and representatives from large international commercial chains. Again this year the sector showed how strong and capable it is. An extremely high number of orders were placed and a great deal of new business ideas were discussed.”

According to Chris Yorke, Global Marketing Director for NZ Winegrowers, ProWein represents the most important global wine fair alongside its own events held in London, Ireland and Stockholm.

“We have now reached $1.6 billion of exports continuing the record year on year growth for the last 15 years and we are heading towards our target of $2 billion by 2020,” he says.

“What we are particularly proud of is a really important recent milestone, and that is becoming America’s third largest imported wine country by value behind Italy and France and now ahead of Australia. We still feel as though there is still a lot of growth left in the US market, driven mainly by Sauvignon Blanc.

“We remain flat in Australia, but Aussies drink 15 times the amount of New Zealand than Americans do on a per capita basis while the UK market has continued to grow and represents around 15% over the last three years,” says Yorke.

Dave Babich from Babich Wines was one of the busier wineries on the NZ Winegrowers stand.

“ProWein for us is the number one wine fair. The world of wine is here, our distributors are here and our customers are here,” says Babich. “We have 30-40 meetings planned in a row across three days. This show is all about face-to-face meetings with our existing and new distributors. One market where we are looking for a distributor is Ireland. After the GFC, Ireland had a lot of disruption and it changed the profile of the market too. What we were doing was not working for both us and our distributor as they were new into wine. We agreed we should stop doing this and step back and come into it fresh.”

Richard Thomas from Villa Maria moved from the NZ Winegrowers stand to his own exhibition space this year.

“Having our own stand at ProWein has made a big difference,” he says. “Our stand has been really busy and it has been good to have proper conversations with our clients with a bit more space and some privacy. It has been a great way to meet with people and exchange ideas. This year I have noticed a lot more people from the UK than last year. The buyers are still very interested in Sauvignon Blanc and that’s great as it is our bread and butter. What we have definitely found is that there is a premiumisation occurring with more buyers interested in higher price points of Sauvignon Blanc.”

The next ProWein exhibition will be held in Düsseldorf from 18-20 March 2018. After its inaugural show in Singapore last year, ProWine Asia will be held in Hong Kong for the first time from 8-11 April 2017 and the next ProWine China event will be held from 14-16 November 2017.