By Jim Boyce
Messe Düsseldorf, organizer of the massive ProWein wine fair in Germany, and China International Exhibitions (CIE), organizer of Food and Hospitality China (FHC) in Shanghai, have teamed up to establish an annual event called ProWine China.
The first exhibition is set for next year from November 13 to November 15 in Shanghai, alongside FHC China, and will essentially take over that event’s wine and spirits hall. At this year’s recently finished FHC China, the hall hosted vendors, seminars, tastings and a sommelier contest as well as a large ProWein area with ~300 winning wines from the 2012 Mundis Vini International Wine Awards held in Germany.
Michael Degen of Messe Düsseldorf and Brendan Jennings of CIE announced the project on Thursday at a packed press conference. (I’m not being cliche when I say “packed”, since the event was ~20 seats short, which made me greatly regret, as I stood at the back of the room for what seemed an eternity, that I had not filled my glass with the tasty wine just meters away on the other side of a temporary wall. But I digress.)
Jennings and Degen briefed the media on their respective organizations, with Degen saying the Dusseldorf fair attracted ~4,000 exhibitors and ~40,000 trade people last year, and that he hoped to bring some of that energy to Shanghai. Later that night, after several shots of Slovakian vodka — I was seated with the distillery owners at dinner — I might have approached the Messe Düsseldorf table and suggested they bring their show to Beijing and include Chapel Down in it. Might have. In any case, it will be interesting to see how this all works out next year.