By James Wells, reporting from ProWein
Wine Australia will look to grow its participation at ProWein, the world’s largest wine and spirits exhibition, to accommodate a waiting list of local wineries looking to join the national stand.
With 39 separate wineries represented on the national stand for the first time in the event’s history, Wine Australia had to turn companies away after a waiting list was created.
“We will be requesting additional space for next year’s show not just for additional exhibitors but also for more meeting space so that the business of the show can take place,” said Wine Australia general manager of market development, Stuart Barclay.
“We would also like to create more space for tastings that reinforce the food and wine-matching benefits that is highlighted by Tourism Australia’s Restaurant Australia campaign. Ideally, we would love to have a chef on the stand for example to really demonstrate the quality of food and wine that our country has to offer."
Wine Australia regional director for UK, Europe and Ireland, Laura Jewell MW, believes that ProWein has now surpassed several of its competitor trade shows to now represent the major event on the trade calendar.
“VinItaly is mainly focused on the Italians, VinExpo is focused on the French and London Wine Fair is losing its cache – therefore ProWein is the more superior exhibition,” Jewell said.
“ProWein is a globally-important show and it is incredibly important for Australia that we are represented the right way and that we have the right presence.”
Jewell believes that to get the most of out of the exhibition, the Australian brands need to explain the history and heritage of their brands.
“I am a believer of the people behind the wines. They need to get out there and put glasses in people’s hands. We are encouraging education and the sharing of stories,” she said.
“One of our exhibitors secured a distribution deal on the first day from a company in the United States which has already provided them with a return on their investment.
“We would encourage other wineries to come over and see it for themselves. There is a lot of time and planning that goes into these events and we are here to support our exhibitors and make it as easy as possible for them to participate.”
Barclay has confirmed he is looking at Wine Australia participation at two Asian exhibitions within the ProWein portfolio – the third ProWine China to be held in Shanghai in November 2015 and the inaugural ProWine Asia in Singapore in April next year.
Barclay has confirmed that these exhibitions will be included within the new Wine Australia prospectus which will be released in April after Easter. The prospectus will outline the major events to be held over the 2015-16 financial year as well as additional events in the 2016-17 period.
“ProWein is a must go-to global show where you can actually write business,” Barclay said.
“As a result we want to expand next year as we have something that seems to be working. We are telling the stories behind the labels and the winemakers and getting the message out. This all of the good stuff that we were doing 20 years ago. There is an upsurge in sentiment for Australian wine and buyers all over the world are saying the same thing.”
The Wine Australia stand aimed to tell stories of heritage and progression with its "History, Evolution, Revolution" theme. This narrative came to life through Sunday’s Masterclass and the daily Focus Barrel tastings, which attracted enthusiastic international media, buyers and retailers.
"Our ‘History, Evolution, Revolution’ Masterclass hosted by global education manager, Mark Davidson, was a full house with people queueing to attend. Our Feature Tastings drew strong audiences and ‘Happy Hour’ completely filled our stand on Sunday and Monday,” Jewell added.
This year's three-day fair, held from 15–17 March, attracted more than 52,000 international trade visitors to the Messe Hall in Düsseldorf. A total of 5,970 exhibitors from 50 nations were on show in the fair’s nine exhibition halls, including the 39 producers on the Wine Australia stand.
The wineries represented on the Australian stand at ProWein 2015 were:
Angove Family Winemakers
Battle of Bosworth
Brygon Reserve Wines
Calabria Family Wines
Chaffey Bros. Wine Co.
Cheviot Wine Group
First Drop Wines
Fox Creek Wines
Helen and Joey Estate
Henry’s Drive Vignerons
Howard Park Wines
Langmeil Barossa Winery
Littore Family Wines
Single Vineyard Sellers
Windowrie Organic Wine