Every year, since 1994, Prowein, a wine fair for specialized visitors, has been held in Düsseldorf, Germany. Delegations from all over the world gather in this city to sell and talk about their wines. It is a fair whose main objective is to set up businesses. It was my first experience in this type of event and everything for me was new.
From the train to Düsseldorf I could detect visitors of the fair. Arriving at the Train Station —Hauptbahnhof in German— the signposts with information on Prowein were everywhere. There was special transportation, a bus that went straight to the fair, at no extra cost.
The venue where the event is held is giant. The fair is developed in nine halls where each corresponds to a country —if the volume of production is large— or to a group of countries. In addition, there are food places and other spaces to relax. In each hall there are stands, some correspond to a winery and others to a group of wineries. There are also some food stands such as chocolates, cheeses, cold meats, and other products linked to the world of wine: printing, signage and labels, materials for winemaking and luggage to transport wines.
In addition to the possibility of testing the wines of each producer, in their stand, masterclasses are also carried out by Sommeliers, Masters of Wine and other professionals of the sector. There are also events that can only be attended by invitation.
In the three days of Prowein I participated in eight masterclasses:
“100 Bordeaux to Discover” by L’École du Vin de Bordeaux and guided by Markus Del Monego, Sommelier and Master of Wine.
“Bordeaux’s modern style and modern palate” by L’École du Vin de Bordeaux with Master of Wine Michelle Cherutti-Kowal
“Swiss Wine” with Paolo Basso
“Volcanic Veneto: Wines beyond Valpolicella” with wines from Azienda Agrícola Cavazza and guided by Markus Berlinghof, Best Sommelier 2014 by Gault Millau.
“Rioja: Gran Reservas” with the spanish wines expert David Schwarzwälder
“3 Methods, 3 Styes: Tokaji Aszú, Szamorodni, Late Harvest” organizada por la Hungarian Tourism Agency
“Pink Rosé Festival 2017 in Cannes: Winners’ tasting”
“Lodi Rules” by the Wine Institute de California presented by Claudia Schug, DipWSET
All were good experiences. It is not the same just to taste a wine than to do it listening to the explanation of a professional about the characteristics of it. In some masterclasses also was presented food to pair with wines. I recently read in a book called “Adventures on the Wine Route” by Kermit Lynch that in order to evaluate the product, the consumption situation is as important as the characteristics of the wine. In most cases the wines are accompanied with food. Therefore, tasting them alone is not representative of the purpose with which the wine was made. I liked this vision and I agree that a wine accompanied with a dish, with which it forms a good couple, stands out more.
I also visited stands from different countries and wine regions. I went to the fair with the events I wanted to attend scheduled. This helped me a lot to get the most out of my time. All the attendees went with a schedule of meetings and events marked in advance. In the corridors there were no visitors walking at a slow pace, stopping at the wines that caught their attention, at least, most did not do that. In the great space of Prowein, all seemed in a hurry wanting to arrive in time to the next appointment.
In Hall 9, where the New World Wines were on display, was the booth of Uruguay, my country. There I met with producers that I already knew and I had the opportunity to taste the new vintages of their wines and the new wines presented at the fair. It makes me happy to see how the wineries of Uruguay, a small country, that has many difficulties to compete with the wines of the rest of the world, believe in their products and manage to position themselves abroad. Everyone agreed that Prowein is an excellent opportunity to do business. The Uruguayan wineries that participated in this edition of the fair were: Antigua Bodega, Bodegas Carrau, Brisas, Castillo Viejo, De Lucca, El Capricho, Establecimiento Juanicó, Familia Dardanelli, Familia Deicas, Familia Pisano, Familia Traversa, Finca Narbona, Garzón, Giménez Méndez, Marichal, Pizzorno, Pueblo del Sol and Viñedo de los Vientos.
I also met again with Spanish friends that I met during my wine trip and I had the opportunity to taste the new vintages and the new wines of: Bodegas Fariña from the Toro DO, Via Romana, Val da Lenda and Ronsel do Sil from the Ribeira Sacra DO, Bodegas Valtravieso and Bodegas Protos from the Ribera del Duero DO, Javier Sanz Viticultor and Grupo Valdecuevas from Rueda DO.
At the end of the fair, outside Prowein, events related to wine were held. In bars, restaurants and hotels the celebration continued for those who after nine hours of fair had the strength to not be overcome by fatigue.
Discover new wines from all corners of the world, different styles and varied prices and listen to the best professionals in the field are some of the possibilities offered by Prowein. These advantages, coupled with the high number of visitors received each year, make it one of the most important wine fairs in the world.