For winemakers, the trade fair programme this spring is packed. The question is: which trade fairs are really worthwhile and how will that change in the future? Here's what some of Austria's most illustrious wine figures think.
Chris Yorke, Managing Director Austrian Wine Marketing Board "ProWein is the largest showing of Austrian wines in 2023"
Wine fairs are back and Austrian wines are very attractive for visitors! At Vinexpo Paris we had a record stand of over 40 Austrian wine brands showing wines to visitors who had grown by 41% since last year. Over 100 Austrian wineries were visited in London at the Austrian Wine Tasting in the Science Museum by over 400 trade and media at a very successful tasting. Some trade attendees even said it was one of the best tastings in London recently. ProWein Düsseldorf will be the largest showing of Austrian wines in 2023 with over 200 wineries in Hall 5. But we are also already planning VieVinum in Vienna in May 2024 which will be the most important showing of Austrian wines with 500+ wineries.
Reinhard Muster, Muster.Gamlitz "One major fair a year is enough for Europe"
On one hand, I expect feedback on our brand from ProWein, and on the other, I want to use the opportunity to continue building a sustainable export market. The whole wine world is meeting and we want to be there and do our bit for Styria.
Somehow ProWein now seems a bit dusty and tired. I'm not in favour of always reinventing everything in the wine industry, but ProWein should definitely get a new lick of paint. I'm very interested in Wine Paris/Vinexpo, but in my opinion one big fair a year in Europe is enough!
Christina Juen-Wess, Wess Winery "ProWein is important for existing customers"
We expect to conduct our annual meetings with existing customers at ProWein and to invite new customers to appointments.
The fair will be used increasingly for customer maintenance than as a means of acquiring new customers. For this, however, the trade fair must react by adapting the environment of hotels/transport/fair costs.
Michael Moosbrugger, Schloss Gobelsburg "There needs to be a counterpart to ProWein"
On the whole, Vinexpo was a success. I think you can see that the fair is now slowly recovering and strengthening after the move to Paris and the turmoil of the pandemic. This is a good thing, because ProWein needs a counterpart and a strong competitor.
We had a lot to do at the fair because there were more sommeliers there in addition to our international customers.
In my opinion, Vinexpo makes sense above all for wineries who distribute internationally, or for those who aspire to do so. For one or the other, it might also make sense to alternate between the fairs. We will definitely be there again next year.
Birgit Braunstein, Birgit Braunstein Winery "For me, Montpellier replaces ProWein"
The Montpellier fair has now replaced ProWein for my organic winery, because most of my partners come to Montpellier and there is a more pleasant atmosphere there. We have met existing traders and importers there but also many new contacts. The fair is developing really well!
I believe that Wine Paris will prevail in the future between Düsseldorf and Paris. There are also many exciting, small side events for the organic scene!
Dr. Gerald Wunderer, Doktor Wunderer Winery "As a new winery we are (for now) fully committed to ProWein"
We are new and ProWein will be our first trade fair in Europe, because we believe that it is still the most important one at the moment. We expect that we will become known, that people will take notice of us, but also, of course, that we will find one or two retailers and gain a foothold in the gastronomy sector, both in Germany and in Europe. However, we are keeping a close eye on Wine Paris/Vinexpo Paris, because it could also become exciting in the future.
Christina Artner-Netzl, Franz & Christine Netzl Winery "Paris is more interesting than ProWein for overseas contacts"
We were extremely surprised by the response in Paris this year. There were many new customers at our stand and the organisation of the fair was absolutely exemplary. We were able to make some new contacts, especially from overseas. Only a few of our existing customers were there, and we will be meeting more of them at ProWein in Düsseldorf. Vinexpo/Wine Paris cannot replace ProWein at the moment, but we will continue to visit both fairs and keep a close eye on developments.