The Tasting Panel magazine

May 2011

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Page 74 of 132

SPECIAL REPORT FROM GERMANY With exhibitors from all over the world, ProWein 2011 was a truly international affair. Look closely at this photo for signs of wines from India, Portugal, Uruguay, Canada and Australia! It’s a Wein World, After All PROWEIN 2011 TOUCHES DOWN IN DÜSSELDORF WITH A WINE AND SPIRITS EXPO OF EPIC PROPORTIONS story and photos by Rachel Burkons F rom Austria to Hungary, from India to Israel and every wine- and spirit-producing space and place in between, the 2011 edition of the ProWein international trade fair, which took place in late March in Düsseldorf, Germany, proved that it is a small world, after all—and without that obnoxious song. With 3,600 exhibitors from 50 countries and more than 38,000 trade visitors walking packed exhibition halls representing every major winemaking region in the world, the international energy of the expo was palpable. Buyers and importers, brands and exporters all came together to explore the face of the modern wine industry—from packag- ing and sealing technology to new terroirs and techniques. “Being here in this massive hall, it’s easy to see that California wine production is really just a small segment of the worldwide wine industry,” admitted Chris Vix, Vice President of International Sales and Business Development at Vintage Wine Estates. Despite the reality check, producers from the United States received a warm reception, aided by educational seminars presented by some of California’s biggest-name producers. But there was more to the United States’ representation than California, with New York State wines stepping up to the plate to answer Yes! to the oft-repeated question, “There’s wine from New York?” In addition to an educa- tional Empire State experience, producers from New York 74 / the tasting panel / may 201 1 were able to prove that what’s in the glass is equally appeal- ing to importers into the European market. “The European buyers we’ve encountered are looking for a new niche for their wine lists and portfolios,” explained Beverly Stamp, Manager at Lakewood Vineyard in Watkins Glen, NY. “For example, they’ve been particularly interested in the Rieslings we offer as something to introduce to their customers who haven’t tasted Rieslings made outside Germany.” European buyers were also intrigued by the Rhône and Bordeaux varietals coming out of the Washington/Oregon displays, which teamed up for their ProWein debut and attracted visitors eager for their first tastes of Willamette Valley Pinot Noirs and Washington State Cabs. “Many of the international buyers who are looking to expand their import portfolio are looking for non-California U.S. wines,” noted Mickey Dunne, owner of Badger Mountain, a certified- organic winery out of Washington State who had found new importers into Poland, Finland and Taiwan during his tenure at ProWein. Considering the success of pairing American producers with international importers, the trip to Düsseldorf was a valuable one for Dunne, who says he’ll be back next year, with the hope that additional U.S. brands will join the worldwide-wine fête. “This was absolutely worth it,” said Dunne; “the same time and money spent in the U.S. might not have had as long-term results.”

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