By James Wells in Dusseldorf

Winestream Communications has taken a cost-conscious approach to this year’s ProWein, with the marketing consultancy representing multiple brands at the event to reduce costs for wineries looking to attract importers across Europe.

Winestream Communications managing director, Kylie Teasdell, attended her eighth consecutive ProWein exhibition this week, but it was the first show as the principle of her own business. She has previously attended as general manager sales and marketing at Hungerford Hill and as an export manager for an Italian winery.

“I felt that a lot of PR companies do fluffy stuff, while sales are the key. Brands that survive in tough times keep up their presence. I don’t expect wineries to spend $10,000 on a stand at ProWein, so that is why we have split our double stand space between four wineries,” Teasdell said.

At the show, Teasdell represented Blue Pyreneees, Songlines Estate, Shaw Vineyard Estates (Canberra) and Blackets.

“For my benefit, I am able to keep up my contacts and see what is happening in the export market. I don’t know how people can give advice if they don’t know what is going on in the world, including the perception of Australian wines and where the prices are at.”

Teasdell said she has noticed a definite change in attitude to Australian wines which has been reflected in the questions asked by potential importers.

“In my email back to the wineries after day one, I explained that never before have I been asked about price. Normally people come here and taste your wine, but this time, they are asking: ‘out of all of this – what do you have for $3’. In terms of nationality, we have not had one approach from a German distributor – we have received interest from Scandinavia, The Netherlands and Eastern Europe.

“ProWein is a great place for people to meet such as small to medium wineries who can meet like-minded importers. I have noticed a lot asking specifically if our wineries are privately owned and family run, which they all are. Maybe people are steering away from the big brands which is an indication of the type of importers that are looking for Australian wines.

“My message to other wineries is to consolidate your efforts. A lot of people have come to us are asking for mixed containers, as they would prefer to mix brands rather than over commit to one producer. From my perspective, it helps to have four wineries on one table rather than four separate tables.

“I’ll definitely be back. I will strongly encourage the 15 wineries I work with to participate in 2010. It is a very good way of meeting people as this is a global stage with interest from buyers in markets compared to VinExpo or the London Wine Show, which concentrate primarily on their own domestic markets. My personal objective has been to find one good importer for each of my four brands.

“ProWein to me is the best show. London is very UK-based, while VinExpo is completely French and Vinitaly is Italian focused. For my dollar, and not that it is my dollar, you get to so many more markets as a small winery by coming to ProWein,” she said.

The Shout Team

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