Top Figures for ProWein 2016

Düsseldorf, DEU, 12.3. 2016. Prowein goes city - große Weinverkostung im stilwerk. Die Leitmesse ProWein ist alljährlich der ultimative Treffpunkt der internationalen Wein- und Spirituosenbranche. 6.200 Aussteller aus 59 Ländern präsentierten sich zur ProWein 2016 vom 13. bis 15. März in Düsseldorf. Etwa 420 internationale Spirituosen-Anbieter zeigten einen anspruchsvollen Mix aus bewährten Klassikern, landestypischen Kostbarkeiten und ausgefallenen Neuvorstellungen. Auch Innovationen und Entwicklungen im Bereich Zubehör für die Wein- und Spirituosenbranche fanden sich in Düsseldorf. | ProWein is the Leading Trade Fair and a unique meeting point for the international Wine and Spirits Sector. 6,200 exhibitors from 59 countries were present at ProWein 2016, from 13 to 15 March in Düsseldorf. Around 420 international spirits suppliers showed a sophisticated, high-quality mix consisting of tried-and-tested classics, regional-specific delicacies and exceptional new products. Innovations and new developments in accessories for the wine and spirits sector were also on display in Düsseldorf.Foto: Messe Düsseldorf, Constanze Tillmann. Exploitation right Messe Düsseldorf, M e s s e p l a t z, D-40474 D ü s s e l d o r f, www.messe-duesseldorf.de; eine h o n o r a r f r e i e Nutzung des Bildes ist nur für journalistische Berichterstattung, bei vollständiger Namensnennung des Urhebers gem. Par. 13 UrhG (Foto: Messe Düsseldorf / ctillmann) und Beleg möglich; Verwendung ausserhalb journalistischer Zwecke nur nach schriftlicher Vereinbarung mit dem Urheber; soweit nicht ausdrücklich vermerkt werden keine Persönlichkeits-, Eigentums-, Kunst- oder Markenrechte eingeräumt. Die Einholung dieser Rechte obliegt dem Nutzer; Jede Weitergabe des Bildes an Dritte ohne Genehmigung ist untersagt | Any usage and publication only for editorial use, commercial use and advertising only after agreement; unless otherwise stated: no Model release, property release or other third party rights available; royalty free only with mandatory credit: photo by Messe Duesseldorf]  

The success of ProWein continues unabated. Once again, from 13 to 15 March 2016 more exhibitors and visitors from throughout the world came to the leading international fair for wines and spirits in Düsseldorf. Over 55,000 trade visitors came here to gather information at the stands of the 6,200 exhibitors, to place their orders and take advantage of the varied supporting programme. As many as half the visitors now come to Düsseldorf from abroad. Now in its 10th year ProWein goes City was once again held in and around Düsseldorf with numerous wine events for all wine lovers.

The variety of ProWein is unique worldwide. At no other event is there such a wide and international range on offer. At ProWein 2016 all relevant wine regions of the world gathered in Düsseldorf, including numerous market leaders from Europe and abroad. The largest exhibitor nations this year included Italy (1,500), France (1,300), Germany (1,000), Spain (550), Austria (320), Portugal (300) and Overseas (600). Added to this were some 420 exhibitors from 30 countries with their special spirits. Exhibitors from a total of 59 nations attended the event.  

This line-up attracted over 55,000 trade visitors from throughout the world to Düsseldorf – corresponding to some 6% over last year (2015: 52,000 trade visitors from 123 countries).  Here ProWein is increasingly becoming a top global event: this year visitors travelled from 126 different countries. One in two visitors came to Düsseldorf from abroad. The highest rise outside Europe was posted by visitors from Overseas, mainly from Asia. Overall, we are seeing a trend where ProWein is primarily attracting decision-makers with great purchasing responsibility: over 70% of visitors came from top or middle management. The success of the trade fair was also highly rated: one in two visitors confirmed that they found new suppliers and two-thirds were able to go home with useful info on trends and innovations. Just under 96% stated they had entirely reached the goals of their trade fair visit. “Figures clearly show that ProWein is the world’s most important business platform for the entire sector. This is where the trade fair budgets are spent. And also for the major, prizewinning wine estates ProWein has now become the absolute must-attending event,” says Hans Werner Reinhard summing up the success of ProWein 2016.

Siobhan Thompson, CEO at Wines of South Africa (WOSA), echoed this sentiment: “ProWein is the most important trade fair for our South African producers – primarily due to its great global relevance. ProWein gives us the opportunity to come into contact with all key contacts from throughout the world. This was also confirmed again this year.”

Monika Reule, Managing Director at the German Wine Institute (DWI) explains: “ProWein has once again shown that it is the world’s leading wine trade fair. Receiving special praise was the quality of the national and international trade visitors.”

Programme of Supporting Events

Once again this year ProWein was accompanied by a varied supporting programme. Over 300 events were on offer either at the exhibitors’ stands themselves or at the central ProWein Forum. Added to this were other tasting opportunities – for instance, in the Champagne Lounge or at the MUNDUS VINI selection. Now in its second edition the “same but different” special show showcased new and unusual paths in wine production or marketing. In the FIZZZ Lounge light yet also very tasty Shim Cocktails were mixed and presented as new trend drinks. Here, too, visitors gave top marks and proved extremely satisfied with the line-up at ProWein.  

ProWein goes City

After the fair closed for the evening all wine friends were also catered to fully in and around Düsseldorf. The ProWein goes City feature celebrated its 10th anniversary attracting visitors with its many exciting events. Whether wine menus, cookery course, bottle parties or art exhibitions – there was something for all wine lovers here.

ProWein Worldwide

Immediately following ProWein in Düsseldorf is the premiere of ProWine Asia from 12 to 15 April 2016 in Singapore. Now in its fourth edition ProWine China in Shanghai will run from 7 to 9 November 2016. The next ProWein in Düsseldorf will be held from 19 to 21 March 2017. And the dates for ProWein 2018 have already been fixed, running in Düsseldorf from 18 to 20 March 2018.

Source: Presseabteilung ProWein

Photo by Messe Duesseldorf

My Interview with: Olga Bussinello, Director, Consorzio Valpolicella – Italy [Women in Wine Business]

March 8th is International Women’s Day and is a day to celebrate women’s achievements, past and present. March is also women’s history month, a time to note women in history, but also women making history.

Here is my interview with one such woman, Ms Olga Bussinello, the Managing Director of the Consortium of Valpolicella wine region.

The Consortium of Valpolicella was founded in 1924 and includes the growers, producers and bottlers and regulates every aspect of cultivation and winemaking, up to promotion. This great red wine from Verona has shown a positive trend at the guidance of Ms. Bussinello. At year end 2015 it reached a turnover of 310 million euros (a 6% increase over the previous year); and where six out of ten bottles are exported.

Q   How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?

A   I have had very diverse yet complementary life and work experiences. After graduating in law I worked in both public bodies and in private companies, changing workplaces and cities up until six years ago when I began my adventure as Director of the Consorzio per la Tutela dei Vini Valpolicella. The flexibility and courage to understand when my career path had to change direction are what have made me grow.

Q   How has your previous employment experience aided your position at Consorzio Valpolicella?

A   Mainly the period I spent working in the world of agricultural associations in Rome where I got to comprehend the complexity of the relations among the various players in a production chain. Even if there are common goals, drawing together the farming world and the industrial sector is extremely difficult.

Q   What have the highlights and challenges been during your tenure at Consorzio Valpolicella?

A   While the wines have become famous by now, instead, Valpolicella—as in the production area—is not very well known as a rural landscape. Having people get to know its genuine beauty and the history of its places is a very important challenge. Naturally, even for that which concerns the wines you have to work to keep the demand and the appeal of Amarone and the other products of the Valpolicella high.

Q   How do you maintain a work/life balance?

A   You have to reserve the same amount of attention and sensibility to work and family to establish your daily priorities. Work, just like family, is a creature and in a certain sense we have to take care of it. I do owe a lot to my husband who has always supported me and taken my place with my daughters so that I could be relaxed as I dealt with more difficult engagements.

Q   What do you think are the biggest issues for women in the wine industry?

A   The same as in the other industries: the difficulty of covering roles that historically belong to men, the stress of having to demonstrate that you’re always perfect, the inability to form a team with other women. This is the generation which, first and foremost, has to fight stereotypes and ancestral insecurities to prepare the way for the generations to come.

Q   Which other female leaders do you admire and why?

A   Many, citing just a few would be doing a disservice to the others. I like women who focus in well on their role and therefore manage to work in a team. The individualism that has to do with being used to facing many things alone can become a limitation in one’s personal and career growth path.

Q   What do you want Consorzio Valpolicella to accomplish over the next year?

A   I would like to fine-tune a format of wine and territory presentation that I am already working on, which brings out the differences between the terroirs and company styles.

Q   What do you love most about your position as Director for Consorzio Valpolicella?

A   The relationship with the member companies, going to the vineyards and the wineries, understanding the history of each and building new projects with them.

Q   What is your advice for other women entrepreneurs?

A   Don’t ever lose your enthusiasm for your work and think of each difficulty as a challenge that will help you grow

——

The Official Champagne Grand Tasting Returns to Chicago

IMG_7541The Champagne region’s annual official tasting in the United States was held at the The Ivy Room, Chicago on February 29, 2016. US Trade and media attendees had the opportunity to taste more than 100 champagnes from 35 growers and houses.

The event celebrates Champagne: the sparkling wine produced in the French region of the same name. Only after strict appellation regulations are followed – from harvesting specific plots by hand to minimum time in the caves – can a wine be labeled Champagne. Organized by the Comité Champagne, which represents all the grape growers and houses of Champagne, the tasting gives media, trade and the wine industry a special opportunity to taste and increase their knowledge of a wide variety of wines from the region available on the U.S. market.

“The region is committed to quality, and we are proud to be able to pour over 100 wines from Champagne at this event, providing media and trade a special window into the wines produced by the growers and houses of Champagne.” said Sam Heitner, director of the Champagne Bureau, USA, the official representative of the Comité Champagne in the United States.

Growers and Houses in attendance were:

1. A. Bergère (NM)
2. Alfred Gratien (NM)
3. Ayala (NM)
4. Beaumont des Crayères (CM)
5. Besserat de Bellefon (NM)
6. Billecart-Salmon (NM)
7. Bollinger (NM)
8. Bruno Paillard (NM)
9. Charles de Cazanove (NM)
10. Charles Heidsieck (NM)
11. Charles Mignon (NM)
12. Collet (CM)
13. De Venoge (NM)
14. Delamotte (NM)
15. Devaux (CM)
16. Drappier (NM)
17. Duval-Leroy (NM)
18. Gosset (NM)
19. Henri Giraud (NM)
20. Henriot (NM)
21. J. de Telmont (NM)
22. Joseph Perrier (NM)
23. Laurent-Perrier (NM)
24. Louis de Sacy (NM)
25. Louis Roederer (NM)
26. Mandois (NM)
27. Michel Gonet (RM)
28. Nicolas Feuillatte (CM)
29. Pannier (CM)
30. Paul Goerg (NM)
31. Pierre Legras (NM)
32. Piper-Heidsieck (NM)
33. Ployez-Jacquemart (NM)
34. Pol Roger (NM)
35. Pommery (NM)

Champagne Bureau USA Lunch and Update – NoMI Kitchen, Chicago Part 1 [The Update]

IMG_7489On February 29th, 2016 I attended one of those lunches that rarely come around — not only was the food and Champagne selection extraordinary, in attendance was Thibaut Le Mailloux, Communications Director for Comité Champagne (the trade association that represents all the grape growers and houses of Champagne, France) and Sam Heitner, the Director of the Champagne Bureau, USA (which is the U.S. representative for the Comité Champagne).

“Champagne is 90 miles northeast of Paris; this wine region is integral to our unique product. That is why we say that ‘Champagne only comes from Champagne’ and why virtually every country in the world reserves the Champagne name exclusively for these wines,” said Thibaut Le Mailloux in his opening speech. “There are now over 100 other countries including Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Mexico, South Africa and the European Union in standing for truth-in-labeling and ensuring their consumers are confident that wines labeled Champagne come from Champagne, France.” Says Le Mailloux.

IMG_7473

Champagne Region Updates

US and Global Exports
Sam Heitner advises the US media in attendance that “in 2015, Champagne shipped more than 312 million bottles worldwide, which was an increase of 1.7 percent compared to 2014.” Also, “in 2014 more than 19.2 million bottles were shipped to the United States, making it the second largest export market behind the United Kingdom.”

Champagne Education
The Comité Champagne leads a comprehensive education, promotion and protection campaign worldwide. As part of this effort, they recently launched several new initiatives to encourage people to learn more about Champagne wine and the region. First, the Comité developed Champagne Campus, an educational website. Second, the Comité created a virtual reality video), which takes users on a vivid 360° tour around the vineyards, villages and caves that make the region so unique.

Champagne Campus
To sum it up — here you can discover the wonderful world of champagne, including: the region, vines, winemaking process, AOC and tasting. It’s a fun website and app where you can learn and also test your champagne knowledge.

The website and app is also available on the Apple Store and Google Play
www.champagnecampus.com

360 Degrees
This is a 3D film which was explained by both Sam Heitner and Thibaut Le Mailloux – they directed us to use special goggles so we could get the full immersive experience. During this seven minute film, we saw 360 degrees of vineyards, cellars and famous Avenue de Champagne. I experimented by moving the device left and right, and up and down – this totally changed the view and perception. I have travelled to the region many times and I was happy to see that this device showed the landscape from every possible angle.

Le Mailloux explained that “nine cameras mounted by gopros on drones were used, to create this 360-degree experience.”

As well as Youtube, the film can be downloaded as an app at the Apple Store, Google Play and Android devices.

You can also view the video on The Champagne Bureau Facebook page at www.facebook.com/champagnebureau/videos

Watch for [Part 2 Media Lunch].

WHAT MAKES VINTAGE CHAMPAGNE SO SPECIAL?

Liz Palmer, and Delphine Veissiere PhD

imagesThe Champagne region, which is an AOC (Appellation d’Origine Controlée) is based on two key characteristics: assuring place of origin of each product and its method of production. It’s not the largest wine-growing region, but it is the most famous. The region is divided into four main growing areas; Montagne de Reims, Vallée de la Marne, Côte de Blancs together with Côte de Sézanne, and Côte des Bar (referred to as the Aube). It is important to note that – it is illegal to officially label any product Champagne unless it comes from the Champagne region of France and is produced under the rules of the appellation.

Champagne has been brilliantly marketed the past few decades, and has succeeded in retaining a cache although there are many serious sparkling wine alternatives on the market.

But, why is it so expensive?

A good answer, could be partly because the process is very long and complex and requires many steps along the way, so these drive up the price.

And what about vintage champagne?

Theoretically, vintage Champagnes are made only in particularly good years . This scarcity and quality are the key determinants for investment opportunity.

Vintage champagne is a matter of rarity and style

Vintage Champagne, also known as millésimé, is the unique expression of a single year. There is no regional announcement or vintage decree – the winemaker or Chef de Cave will only produce vintage Champagne in years when the quality is exceptional. These wines are made with the best grapes from superior vineyards.

Also in Champagne the word “vintage” takes on a new meaning – about 90% of the sparkling wine produced in the region is blended into non-vintage Champagnes. These wines are blends of wines from a number of years, or vintages. Non-vintage Champagne often a representation of the house style, while vintage Champagne is a reflection of the year. What gives a vintage Champagne that “special character”? The weather.

“A vintage Champagne is a joint venture between the winemaker and the climate,” says Olivier Krug.

The Champagne region is located in a key climatic area influenced by oceanic and continental weather. Harsh weather conditions makes the winegrower’s métier quite difficult.

Champagne aficionados are ecstatic these days due to a recent shift of good to great vintages commencing with the 2002s.  The character of a vintage Champagne is a reflection of that year’s weather. Here is a précis of 14 vintages from 2000-2014 and where you will find some vintages more exceptional than others.

2015 — Too early.
2014 —  Too early.
*2013 —  Difficult flowering period; Chardonnay badly affected by millerandage; a smaller crop with high quality.
*2012 —  Deemed one of the best vintages the Champagne region has experienced. “The quality and the intensity are definitely there to make an outstanding vintage” states Dom Perignon chef de cave Richard Geoffroy. The base wines show beautiful richness with perfect acid levels; yields were very low.
2011 — An erratic year with problematic harvest.
2010 -This will be a variable year depending on the producer, not many vintages declared; some producers produced excellent fruit driven Champagne.
2009 —    A very difficult vintage; high sugar levels with moderate acidity.  I believe they will be more fresher than the 2003s; better suited for early drinking and not long-term cellaring.  I suspect that most of 2009 wine will be destined for non-vintage bottlings; a few vintage Champagnes were produced.
2008 — Some good vintages produced, watch out for some classically styled, acidic Champagnes.
2007 —  witnessed a cold, rainy summer, with a huge crop (especially Chardonnay) that was brought in earlier than predicted, near the end of August; mostly diluted fruit and high acidity, a large proportion will be reserved for non-vintage Champagnes
2006 — Supple and expressive wines; immediate drinking.
2005 — Not many great vintages produced – acidity was on the low end; 2005 Cristal is a good reflection.
2004 — Structured and well balanced wines, 2004 DP is an excellent reflection.
2003 — Very high heat across Europe produced wines with excellent fruit, good for immediate drinking not much potential for long-term cellaring.
*2002 — This vintage was dry and warm– an exceptional vintage; potentially a classic.
2001 — The worst vintage on record.
2000 — Good quality for blending; not many vintages produced.
*considered exceptional years

Vintage champagne is an investment opportunity

Champagne is relatively affordable when compared to similarly evaluated Bordeaux or Burgundy. Champagne offers first time investors a lower entry point and seasoned investors value for money when diversifying their portfolios. When Champagne is released it is ready for drinking, and rarely stored for long periods, vintages then become scarce and prices rise.

Sebastian Woolf of Woolf Sung reports that vintage Champagne currently presents the most value for money in the fine wine investment market, with a further 10% growth expected over the next 12 months. He states: “I set up Woolf Sung in 2012 to bring fine wine investment to the younger generations by focusing on under-the-radar brands and vintages. Champagne epitomizes this ambition and as investors across the board are seeking alternatives to Bordeaux, these brands and vintages are gaining traction in the market as investors and drinkers are looking for value.”

Woolf Sung is currently focusing on sourcing and procuring these old, scarce vintages which present a 3-5 year investment; these bottles are being drunk now therefore scarcity and, in turn, prices are ever increasing.

“The world’s top Champagne vintages, 1988, 1996, and 2002 have consistently shown great appreciation and continued steady growth over the years. Over a two year period to August 2014, these vintages have collectively risen 10.2%. With the investment market looking for alternatives to Bordeaux, vintage Champagne offers volume production, worldwide distribution and prestige that Burgundy and Italy struggle to compete with. According to Liv-Ex, between 2011 and 2013 the Champagne index increased 11.9% and its share of trade increase from 1% to 2.3%.” says Sebastian Woolf.

– Our Five Top Vintage Champagne Picks – Continue reading “WHAT MAKES VINTAGE CHAMPAGNE SO SPECIAL?”