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ProWein 2018

Around 500 informative events focus on everything from champagne, spirits, craft drinks, ageing potential, food and wine, marketing and logistics.

Once again, the organic range increases, which includes the relevant associations. The special show Organic World and the Organic Lounge provide additional sources of information, including recommended food-matching.

Hall 7.1 offers a platform for craft beer and craft spirits that hits the nerve of the industry with “same but different”. Over 60,000 visitors do not want to be left out.

Immediately after ProWein in Düsseldorf, ProWein Asia 2018 takes place in Singapore from 24 to 27 April. ProWein China 2018 in Shanghai follows from 13 to 15 November.

With „same but different“, Hall 7.0 offers a platform for craft beer and craft spirits that hit the nerve of the industry. More than 60,000 visitors did not miss it.



As never before, 2018 is determined by extreme and very varied weather patterns. The north basks in endless sun, but Bordeaux suffers a serious attack of mildew. Italy is threatened by hail, flooding and storms. Nevertheless, about 600 million bottles of Prosecco will be bottled – almost twice as much quantity as in Champagne.

In California, forest fires threaten Wineries. South Australia experiences the driest autumn of all time, Germany the earliest harvest.

Great Britain looks forward to a bumper harvest …,

…but is mentally preparing for Brexit. Among other issues, the mutual recognition of denominations of origin is at stake for the wine industry.

Facebook and Twitter now have one billion members. Amazon sells goods worth more than 100 billion euros, but closes its wine shop. The whisky lover who bought a barrel of Macallan for £2,700 in 1994 sells it at auction for £242,000, making an 895% profit.

ProWein 2017

It just keeps growing. 6,255 exhibitors occupy 71,861 square meters of exhibition space. Organic, sustainable, orange wine, the organic sector is continually bringing forth new trends, which visitors can trace in „Organic World“ – for those who can detach themselves from the parallel supporting program with its approximately 500 tastings and events. For the first time, more than half of visitors to ProWein come from abroad. They include Sting, who presents his winery Il Palagio with a serenade. Another new entry, The ProWein Business Report, is created in cooperation with Geisenheim University of Applied Sciences. Almost 1,500 wine experts from 46 countries are surveyed. The report shows the current mood of the industry and should serve as an annual barometer-reading for the future.

For the first time, more than half of ProWein’s visitors come from abroad. Among others, Sting, who presents his winery Il Palagio.



For the wine industry, which benefits so much from the trade in goods and the free movement of the EU, the committed European Emmanuel Macron is a blessing. There are also gripes at home. After all, he proves himself in a blind tasting as an accomplished wine taster.

The Bordelais are concerned about their Chinese investors. They like to give their newly purchased wineries Chinese names like “Golden Rabbit” or “Tibetan antelope”. Traditionalists aren’t so happy about it.

Robots will take over important parts of the tedious vineyard work in the future – The latest models can even check the health of the vine.

ProWein 2016

96 percent of visitors have fully achieved their goals when visiting the trade fair. Regions that currently hold smaller market shares in Europe benefit from the event’s global reach. Exhibitors from South Africa, Australia and the Americas praise the opportunities to meet key contacts from around the world.

The youngest member of the international product family is launched as ProWein Asia, following directly after Düsseldorf, from April 12 to 15 in Singapore. The fourth edition of ProWein China is held in Shanghai in November.

For the first time

The latest addition to the international product family, ProWine Asia, will be launched in Singapore from 12 to 15 April. The fourth edition of ProWine China will follow in Shanghai in November.



Amongst a mass of new wine trends, perhaps the most misunderstood thing about orange wine is that it’s just skin-fermented white wine.

Ebay launches a wine shop with over 10,000 wineries in the US. Vendors have to pay for listings. For the first time, China has more area under vine than France, specifically 799,000 hectares.

French winemakers once again raise the alarm over cheap Spanish imports. In China, two counterfeiting rings are charged with creating fakes worth up to $4.3 million. In tequila, yet again, agaves become scarce, resulting in high prices.

Belgium can feel protected: its national beer culture is now World Heritage.

Azerbaijan becomes one of the last countries of Asia Minor to rediscover its historical wine culture. The use of crowd funding to restore vineyards is new and novel.

ProWein 2015

ProWein takes an important step and its customers are onboard. The fair now takes place in nine instead of six halls. France (1,329 exhibitors, 12,973 square meters), Austria (372 exhibitors, 3377 square meters) and Germany (958 exhibitors, 19,649 square meters) are all into double-digits.

Over 50,000 visitors find it unmissable. And in spite of some dissenting voices, 40 percent of trade visitors state that they have already placed orders during the fair. Another 44 percent aim to order it immediately after.

The special presentation “same but different” has a successful premiere. Ten international exhibitors present exceptional production and sales projects.

In the evenings, ProWein Goes City! offers over 80 events in restaurants, bars and wine shops. Events like the Sommelier Party and the Big Bottle Party are now well established.

The special show „same but different“ also had a successful premiere. Ten international exhibitors impressively present their extraordinary projects in production and sales.



Millennials are slowly coming of age, and the industry is looking for the right distribution channel. Social media is important, apps or tips from friends, influencers, a good story and promotions with added benefits and a cool label.

Fast delivery is essential. Wine shows, where you can browse without commitment, are one way.

Conventional retailers don’t have it so easy, with even French people say they are sometimes scared to shop like this. In Japan, Amazon offers conversations with a sommelier over the Internet. The effort is worth it. In a market like the US, 100 million consumers will soon be shopping under this scheme. For the time being, physical shocks are still occurring: Etna explodes, and not only in terms of column inches. The volcano spews out an eight kilometer high column of magma.

ProWein 2014

The 20th anniversary proves to be a big draw. Around a third of the visitors to Düsseldorf are first timers this year.

The number of visitors from China and Hong Kong more than doubles compared to the previous year. This shows a successful feedback effect from ProWein China. ProWein is the leading trade fair for the international wine and spirits industry. Every year the demand for floor space increases. A new highlight celebrates this success: The Champagne Lounge, with more than 60 types of champagne.

For the tenth time, the MEININGER AWARD Excellence in Wine & Spirit was presented to personalities from the wine industry on the eve of the ProWein opening.
Hans Werner Reinhard and Michael Degen at the award ceremony



Northern Italy suffers under heavy rains which devastate the vintage. California is suffering from the worst drought in 1,200 years. The water shortage was expected, but not the Napa earthquake.

The cherry vinegar fly attacks in many parts of Europe. German discounters want to conquer wine markets such as Great Britain and the USA, with the strategy of affordable luxury.

Online, they even go into the fine wine business, selling Château d’Yquem for 349 euros and Château Montrose for 89.99 euros. Torres, Frescobaldi, Rothschild, everything is on offer and sometimes even under cost price.

The profit of the British market leader Tesco collapses by more than 90 percent in the first six months. Lidl is honoured as “UK’s best value supermarket for wine”.

ProWein 2013

Even after 20 years of growth, the number of participants explodes again. There are 20 percent more exhibitors, and four out of five travel from 48 countries. The exhibition space grows to over 50,000 square meters. With more than 300 events on background topics such as trade routes or import conditions, the range of information reaches an unprecedented depth. The same applies to the products on show: from tequila to moutai, from rice wine to wine from Uruguay, there is a record amount of variety. There’s also an increase in Germany’s domestic exhibitors. In Shanghai the first ProWein takes place on Asian soil in November.


Premiere ProWine China



Organic is booming. From 2004 to 2011, the worldwide area under organic cultivation almost tripled from 88,000 to 256,000 hectares. The Spaniards reign supreme with 80,000 hectares. Many top properties are organic, if not biodynamic. This is complemented by a colourful mix of trends.

Sustainably produced food, gluten-free, vegetarian, flexitarian, super-foods, vegan, pescetarian – once eccentric ways of life have now become mainstream. Many would like to include viticulture as part of urban gardening.

In Scotland new distilleries open on a monthly basis. The Single Malt market has a seemingly insatiable thirst for new bottlings, although investments in distilleries tie up capital on a long-term basis.

ProWein 2012

The “Do-it-yourself lab – Infusions, Bitters & Co” picks up on the gin boom. The major international organic wine industry associations work in partnership. In Hall 7.1, Demeter & their colleagues join forces, supplemented by seminars on their dynamic product segment. Around 4,000 exhibitors, 40,000 square meters and 40,000 visitors are the new superlatives that nobody dared to dream of years ago – and yet they will soon be superceded again.




More and more wine merchants fear internet commerce and mobile apps featuring user contributed reviews. Only Amazon’s entry into the wine business is slow to arrive.

For the time being, the largest online retailer remains Hawesko, a classic mail-order company based in Hamburg with a turnover of around 60 million euros. Robert Parker signals his retirement, having changed the wine world with his wine ratings. Without him, nothing will ever be the same again.

German chancellor candidate Peer Steinbrück claims that five euro wine is worthless, providing opponents and wine merchants with ammunition. Rudy Kurniawan attracts considerably more attention. The rarity trader famous as a source of historic Romanée Conti bottles, is arrested at his home, which is crammed full of counterfeit items from floor to ceiling. Both vanish into obscurity afterwards.

Meanwhile, urban viticulture on facades and terraces is becoming increasingly popular.

ProWein 2011

Sustainability is one of the most popular buzzwords in the exhibition halls. The many producers share 40,000 square meters with complimentary associations and institutions such as Demeter and the French Federation Fédération Nationale Interprofessionnelle des Vins de l’Agriculture Biologique. Once again, the number of visitors from Asia increases, especially from Thailand and Hong Kong. Their preference for exquisite packaging is satisfied by Hacienda La Capilla, whose tequila decanter with 2,830 kilos of the purest platinum is filled with 4,100 brilliants totalling 328 carats. Altogether, it comes to a total price of 2.5 million euros. Caramba!

The Mexican distillery Hacienda La Capilla presents a true gem: 2.830 kilos of pure platinum, set with 4,100 diamonds out of a total of 328 carats. Those who have the necessary small change of 3.5 million dollars (about 2.5 million euros) can purchase the „treasure“.

In 2010, Günther Jauch and his wife Thea took over the Othegraven winery, which has been family-owned since 1805. The Kanzemer Altenberg is the heart of the winery and is one of the steepest and with its 250 m length also one of the longest steep slopes in the world.



British consumers say they would rather drink a locally made sparkling wine than Champagne, in a poll just before Christmas. The UK has a new national pride.

The French get over it and are happy about a sales record of ten billion euros in exports.

India officially becomes a wine country, having recently joined the OIV. Women are the biggest wine lovers in this traditionally whisky drinking country.

In the USA, fastfood chains now serve wine, as do university canteens in France. Italy overtakes France as the largest producing nation. Armenia is hailed as the oldest wine nation in the world, with the discovery of a 6,000 year old wine press.


ProWein 2010

Over 250 seminars, moderated tastings and lectures set a new record for the educational offering. Sommeliers, international trade journalists and leading industry experts pass on their knowledge to trade visitors. Eastern Europeans, Chinese and Japanese attendees draw particular attention to their regions. Since 1910, the Prädikatsweingüter dedicate the best drops. The VDP proudly celebrates its 100th birthday.

Cultural wine-themed events make their first appearance at “ProWein Goes City!”, with a play and a film.

Every larger barbecue with friends needs a beer barrel, but why was there no wine barrel as counterpart for wine drinkers so far? The Jupiter wine cellar provides a remedy with a 5-litre wine barrel.

The German Wine Institute (DWI) presents top wines of the „Riesling Generation“ at ProWein. Generation Riesling stands for the young, excellently trained and internationally oriented responsible people in the German wine industry.



The banking crisis is slowly being overcome. The situation finally improves for Spanish winemakers: Among other things, they can thank Chinese customers for a 434% increase in sales.

The UN declares the beginning of the decade as the decade of preserving biodiversity and fighting deforestation. It doesn’t protect Chile from a major earthquake that destroys 125 million litres of wine. Luckily, there are no deaths, and production is soon up and running again. Residents of the Mosel region see quite different stones appear in their way. The highly controversial motorway bridge over the Mosel river is being built, adding an eyesore right in the middle of one of Europe’s most beautiful wine landscapes.

While the political mood in Europe and the United States is massively anti-wine consumption, Argentine President Cristina Kirchner declares that wine is a national drink. Argentina becomes the second largest wine producer outside Europe, with 13.9 million hectoliters.

ProWein 2009

Cool climate and light red wines are the focus. From Alsace to Slovakia, 350 years of Silvaner are celebrated. Newcomers include wines from Algeria and Egypt as well as Gérard Depardieu. The actor has discovered the winemaker in himself, and introduces his “Taille Princesse” personally.

“ProWein Goes City!” provides even more topics for conversation. More than 20 restaurants, wine merchants and creative professionals from Düsseldorf and the surrounding area take part.

The French actor Gerard Depardieu has his own winery on the Loire (Chateau Tigne in the Anjou wine region). He presented the wine at ProWein.



Cognac becomes the first recognized foreign geographical indication in China. In terms of auctions, Hong Kong has already surpassed London. There are still too many vineyards in the EU. Around 70,000 hectares are grubbed up, and the winemakers receive compensation payments. Cultivation areas like Burgundy, with its elegant Pinot Noirs, worry about climate change compromising their style.

New winemakers in the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden are happy. Champagne tackles overproduction with a strict limit on yields. For Prosecco, delimited areas are finally identified and upgraded to DOC and DOCG. No more cheap battery acid or gold coloured cans. The Italian Minister of Agriculture makes headlines with a well-intentioned piece of advice: “If you drink two glasses of wine, you will not be fit to drive.

ProWein 2008

Low-alcohol white wines are on the menu, as are cocktails with a British cuisine slant. The creations are mixed with fresh ingredients like coriander, pesto or mustard. There is a particularly high increase in visitors from Scandinavia and Eastern Europe – and especially from the dynamic consumer markets of Russia, Poland and the Czech Republic.

The well-known wine critic and author Stuart Pigott puts himself at the service of a good cause. During ProWein he „sells“ his time: he can be booked for 15 minutes each and a maximum of six wines can be rated by him.

A strong tandem: Monika Reule, Managing Director of DWI, and Wilhelm Niedergöker, Managing Director of Messe Düsseldorf.



With Barack Obama, a bearer of hope who is also a wine lover, takes over the office of US President.

Unfortunately, he has to solve the financial crisis caused by banks reassigning high-risk real estate loans. Because everything in the economy is interlinked, it also affects the wine industry. Fine wine and other segments suffer heavy losses. Spanish producers have to put up with particularly fatal discounts. 

In Italy, a counterfeiting scandal makes the headlines, but turns out to be a storm in a teacup. The cherry vinegar fly arrives on the scene. Rosé wine growers see a rosy future for themselves, having increased their clientele by 60 percent in the last three years. And so it will continue.

ProWein 2007

The trend towards organic, rosé and light summer wines continues. Spirits producers are particularly happy about the interest from Chinese and Russian markets.

In the FIZZZ Lounge molecular cocktails are served as part of a live show, attracting a lot of attention.

At “Wine’s Best Friends”, many retailers find delicacies that go particularly well with spirits and wine.

For the first time, more than 3,000 exhibitors exhibit at ProWein. More than one in four visitors comes from abroad, including 800 specialist journalists from 34 countries including China, India and the USA.

Premiere for special show „wines best friends“.

Much noticed: Chinese Wine



The election is a game changer for French winemakers: His predecessors Chirac and Mitterand were serious about French cultural heritage, but teetotaller Nicolas Sarkozy rather unpatriotically denies subsidies and denigrates the vignerons with bans on advertising or free tastings. Militant winegrowers let off bombs to persuade the new president to change his mind. Meanwhile, UNESCO recognizes the city of Bordeaux as a World Heritage Site.

Overall, the wine world continues to diversify. Wine guru Hugh Johnson announces that vintages are barely significant any more. The LivEx 100 index rushes from one high to another. Woolworth UK offers champagne at the shelf price of five pounds.

Louis Roederer, producer of the legendary Cristal aims to purchase land in southern England. Competitor Chapel Down has already covered itself and is set up to output of one million bottles.

China is now the sixth largest wine producer in the world. Manga Comics appeal to a previously unknown target audience, who love Bordeaux. The first iPhone is launched.

ProWein 2006

The trend towards organic, rosé and light summer wines continues. Spirits producers are particularly happy about the interest from Chinese and Russian markets.

In the FIZZZ Lounge molecular cocktails are served as part of a live show, attracting a lot of attention.

At “Wine’s Best Friends”, many retailers find delicacies that go particularly well with spirits and wine.

For the first time, more than 3,000 exhibitors exhibit at ProWein. More than one in four visitors comes from abroad, including 800 specialist journalists from 34 countries including China, India and the USA.

The TV series „Der Weinkönig“ did not go on air on ARD and ORF until four months after ProWein – but wine king Harald Krassnitzer did not miss a visit to ProWein.



American wine merchant Gary Vaynerchuk promotes his wines in a daily webcast. The social media presentation begins a new era of wine criticism and marketing that appeals to new sectors.

The American auction house Acker Merrall reports the highest auction sales of all time with 24,685,593 US dollars.

James Bond also pushes the boat out in “Casino Royale”, drinking a bottle of 1982-Château Angélus.


With the hottest July in 85 years and the coolest August in 20, 2006 breaks heat records once again. The weather is anything but typical.

ProWein 2005

Was there something? “Apparently, the measures taken to improve the visitor standard have taken hold,” praised VDP President Michael Prinz zu Salm-Salm. “The proportion of trade visitors has increased by three percentage points to 95 percent,” says Klaus Henrich, project manager at ProWein. France, the third largest nation with 453 exhibitors, records a proud 45% visitor increase with 253 wines in their tasting zone. Austria takes fourth place with 227 exhibitors and has become an attraction with its own Hall 7. The German winegrowers are banking on more marketing: with a FIFA licence, they can sell their wines at World Cup matches.

His Royal Highness Prince Henrik of Denmark

The Football World Cup in Germany is casting its shadows ahead: Goleo VI, the official mascot at the DWI stand.



Wine producers like to go public. Through acquisitions, larger and larger companies are emerging and their stock market value is rising. Investment companies are also discovering wine as an investment option. By contrast, the market for garage wines, once the epitome of micro avant-garde wine, is crumbling.

The US and the EU finally enter into a wine trade agreement, with endless arguments over denominations of origin and manufacturing processes.

Winemakers in France and Spain receive 145 million euros from the EU for crisis distillations.

The success of German discounter chains with wines such as Brunello and Chablis at bargain basement prices annoys the region’s winemakers.

Low-alcohol wines are becoming popular amongst wine drinkers. Resourceful suppliers even present “female-friendly” wines.

About 30 billion bottles of wine are now annually consumed worldwide, and about one billion people are on the Internet.

ProWein 2004

In the equipment contest of the German Wine Institute, bottle design and closures are much discussed by the visitors, whose numbers top 30,000 for the first time. Eye catchers are the 2.17 and 3.50 meter high bottles from trade agency Eggert: made of sturdy plastic and also intended for outdoor use.

The minor wine country Morocco celebrates its German premiere. The „Les Coteaux de l’Atlas“ by Celliers de Meknès is the first ever 1er Cru wine from Morocco, so it’s no wonder that it’s voted the best wine in North Africa.

Italian exhibitors are the second largest nation after Germany. Many are happy to meet customers and professionals that they can not reach at Vinitaly in Verona. Of course, this is also music to the ears of the trade fair organizers.

The new favourite topic of sommeliers is chocolate and wine, so ProWein presents the trend.

Some visitors are even more addicted to Chris De Burgh. The singer and composer personally presents the wine “Villa am Fluss”.

Chris de Burgh at ProWein 2004

Cook Johann Lafer 

Premiere for ProWein: Wines from Morocco

A pairing with a special touch: wine & chocolate



The EU grows to 25 states. The Spirit Rover lands on Mars.

Meanwhile, the wine world contemplates itself: in the film Sideways, two middle aged men live out their midlife crisis through the characterization of grape varieties.

Shortly after, Mondovino criticizes the internationalization of wine, making examples of Michel Rolland and Robert Parker. Parker then has it out with British wine-critic icon Jancis Robinson over an overly rich Bordeaux.

For the first time, computer models predict that the Napa Valley will enter a drought-period that threatens viticulture. Not far away, a new social media platform called Facebook launches online.

ProWein 2003

Happy birthday ProWein Dusseldorf! In 2003, the world’s most important trade fair for wines and spirits celebrates its 10th anniversary in the Düsseldorf exhibition halls. In a small ceremony, the 25 participants who attended every edition were honoured.

Exhibitor feedback on the tenth ProWein sounds almost like the first: very good business deals and promising follow-up business. More than 750 media representatives from 23 countries note a high-spirited atmosphere in the exhibition halls. The policy of only allowing trade visitors proves to be key to success

The stand construction reflects the diversity


New products



Cooking shows are becoming more and more popular. It is not unusual for Michelin starred chefs to showcase their ideas.

Many have sommeliers who recommend a suitable wine to viewers. The words ‘climate change’ and ‘global warming’ become part of everyday language.

One of the deadliest heat-waves overwhelms Europe, causing tens of thousands of deaths and $13 billion in economic damage.

Many winegrowers lose a large part of their harvest, especially due to hail in August. Good grapes are harvested in some regions, but the wines are often atypical and subject to rapid ageing.

ProWein 2002

Major trends such as organic wine are crystallizing. Almost all visitors utilise the open tastings, whilst also discovering lesser-known categories such as German premium sparkling wines.

All eyes are on the booth of Dynasty Cellars, the first Chinese exhibitor at ProWein. The internationality of ProWein is unanimously praised. 788 Italian exhibitors celebrate their record with a massive 7175 square meters.

The presentations become more colourful and varied.


Energy Drink

Egg liqueur

Big Bottle

Asia presents itself



As of 1 January, the euro becomes legal tender in twelve EU nations. Prices often rise disproportionately in restaurants and hotels.

The Chinese Changyu Group establishes a joint venture with the French Castel Group. The partnership builds Chinese burgundy castles in China, to act as a magnet for visitors and boost business.

Another French region achieves unexpected exposure: American rappers have discovered Cognac. Busta Rhymes and Pharrell Williams make the slightly dusty brand fashionable with “Pass the Courvoisier”. The acronym “ABC” – Anything But Chardonnay – begins to become popular.

ProWein 2001

A very representative domestic participation is achieved, with 846 German exhibitors. It will stabilize with only a slight increase in the long run. However, new insights are also in demand. Regardless of personal focus, 83 percent of the visitors appreciate the open tastings as a source of information and guidance. The South Africa stand gets a lot of attention again and sets the standard. Successful exhibitors at ProWein present more than just their wines. They also convey a picture of the culture of the region or of their land, contributing significantly to the overall success of the fair. The “International red wines from leading varieties” and “white wines with aging potential” would still be current in 2018.

North Entrance 2001

Hendrik Thoma again is there

South Africa represented with joint stand / right Petra Meyer

Well-known sommelier Markus Del Monego



The attacks of September 11 lead to a lasting confrontation between the Western and Muslim worlds.

Turkey ceases the state alcohol monopoly, allowing dozens of wineries to emerge and revive the culture of one of the world’s oldest wine-growing lands.

The online encyclopaedia Wikipedia is founded with the aim to share the knowledge of the world. That wine can have positive health effects is well known. An unimaginable number of studies show health benefits in 2001, one even claiming that moderate drinkers earn more than tee-totallers. Bodegas Ysios in the Rioja open their new winery, designed as a natural sculpture by star architect Santiago Calatrava. Avant-garde buildings such as Ysios are an expression of the dawn of a new winemaking culture and the bond with nature.

ProWein 2000

For the first time, a considerable number of participants from the promising Asian and North American markets are amongst the 21,000 registered visitors.

The open tasting offers over 1,000 wines from all over the world, around the theme “International red wine blends”. A tasting like this doesn’t exist at any other fair in the world.

The fair gates were closed, exhibitors and visitors were gone – then WDR came, set up its mobile kitchen and combined fine cuisine with fine wines.

Germany’s only winegrowing minister Hans-Artur Bauckhage at ProWein: As part of a campaign for white wines, the Minister for Economic Affairs, Transport, Agriculture and Viniculture and Deputy Prime Minister of Rhineland-Palatinate visited the trade fair on ProWein Monday.

Football idol Jean-Pierre Papin (active for AC Milan, Bayern Munich and Girondins Bordeaux, among others) visited French brand leader Malesin with French consul Claudette Baudouin. There was also the probably largest bottle at ProWein – a 27-litre Bordeaux bottle.

For the first time at ProWein: a Swiss glacier wine matured in old wooden barrels in caves on the Rhone glacier.




In countries like the US, personal income has doubled in the last decade. The Dow Jones climbs spectacularly over 10,000 points. Almost simultaneously with the fair, the first news about a stock market crash comes in March. The “dotcom bubble” bursts, destroying enormous wealth and economic productivity.

The first vintage of the new millennium is similarly heated. 2000 is the first very hot year, followed by 2003, 2006 and more. Winemakers in the equatorial regions struggle with drought and low yields. In the cooler growing areas, many winemakers encounter sunburn and low acidity levels for the first time.

ProWein 1999

Wine knowledge is power, but it’s also hard work. ProWein offers the first tasting seminars. The participants of the basic DWI sensory training are slightly pompously christened “wine élèves” and introduced to “the different grape varieties of German white and red wines”, in the style of an amateur wine club. The 112 Austrian exhibitors are clearly making themselves at home in the Prowein ambience, having doubled their exhibition area of 722 square meters compared with the previous year. With an eye on the approaching new millennium celebrations, many participants have come up with a new favourite topic: sparkling wine and champagne.

Georg Wiedemann from the wine vinegar estate Doktorenhof at his book presentation.

The Sommelier Forum of the publication Vinum offered a top-class programme during ProWein 1999.

For the first time at ProWein as an exhibitor – the Sommelier Union.

One of the big topics: Sparkling wine, champagne punctually on sale at the turn of the millennium.



Sociologists and marketing researchers define Generation Z, aka the Millennials. It soon becomes clear that these people will develop new consumer habits. Those born just before the turn of the millennium are regarded as critical and above all else as digital natives.

The suspicion that the Internet will become an important sales channel begins.

In the same year, the first episode of the best-selling book series in world history is published: Harry Potter entertains his fans purely in analogue printed form. The six-billionth person is born.

ProWein 1998

ProWein has become the only wine and spirits trade fair in Germany. More and more of the 10,000 plus visitors are interested in countries such as Australia, South America or South Africa, which is present for the first time with ten exhibitors spread over 84 square meters. The tasting has two themes: “German wines in litre bottles” and “International wines made from Burgundy varieties”.

The opening press conference for ProWein 1998 was also well attended by the German wine queen Natascha Thoma from Baden.

A harmonious combination: sport & wine. The Bundesliga professional Ratinho, also called the „little mouse“, played table football with visitors at the booth of Schloss Wachenheim and signed autographs.

The first comprehensive study on developments and trends in the wine and beverage trade, delicatessen shops and food departments of department stores, surveyed by the Gesellschaft für Konsumgüterforschung – presented at ProWein 1998. The German Wine Institute presents the Aroma Wheel for German wines.

Always „surrounded“ – the joint stand of the VDP.



Countries such as Georgia, Armenia and many Balkan nations are rediscovering their wine culture. Vinification methods such as the Georgian Kvevri, the expansion in clay amphorae are admired incredulously.

Also incredible is a Bordeaux vertical mounted by rare wine collector Hardy Rodenstock, with vintages going back to the 18th century. Soon it turns out that the so-called Jefferson wines, the hitherto most expensive bottles in the world, are fakes.

The plot of the Chinese film romance „Jiang Ai Qing Jin Xing Dao Di“ (Our love lasts forever) provides a fictional expression about unfulfilled student love that ends in Bordeaux – and continues to popularize Bordeaux wines in China.

Meanwhile, western winemakers struggle with a very difficult vintage. The first digital cameras and an idiosyncratic all-in-one PC called iMac appear on the market.


ProWein 1997

From now on, the fair is named „ProWein“ and adopts an official logo. Many have grumbled about the venue’s distance from many of its own nation’s wine regions, yet in 1997 some 39 percent of visitors come from south-west Germany.

Michael Mondavi takes one of the longest journeys of the 1000 plus exhibitors. This legend, who owns over 1,300 hectares of vineyard and a winery that is also an event location, clearly wants a closer look at Europe’s new trade fair.

Already the fourth ProWein for Zeter – the wine agency, 22 more should still follow.

For the first time DWI organized a seminar for wine Elèven

One of the major challenges at ProWein: the glass rinsing service

Pairing at its best: Japanese food and exquisite wines – presented by the sommelier of Daitokai, a Japanese restaurant in Düsseldorf.

For the first time kosher wine at ProWein: The Schenkel winery (Rheinhessen) has launched a kosher Rivaner and a kosher Dornfelder in cooperation with three rabbis.

Curtain up for Mondavi, one of the flagships of US viticulture. Michael Mondavi travelled personally, awarded sommelier Christina Fischer with his prize and met another legend: Eduardo Chadwick, who helped Chilean viticulture to world fame.



Kate Winslet exchanges the champagne in first class for a wild beer party below decks on the Titanic. With her statement of true love, she helps make what was then the most successful film of all time.

The Government of the People’s Republic of China recognizes the benefits of competition for the working class, privatizes some state-owned enterprises, and paves the way for a nationwide wine industry.

More than one in three Americans already own a PC. They could already use an app named Google, but few have heard of the World Wide Web.

ProWein 1996

During the first three day fair, wines from overseas are unexpectedly in fashion. The many East German participants are still a surprise. Visitors benefit from the international Riesling and sparkling wine tasting as a great overview and source of information.

The German Wine Queen 1995/1996 at ProWein: Ulrike Neymeyer from Baden

The big Riesling and sparkling wine tasting, which was organized in cooperation with WEINWIRTSCHAFT of the Meininger publishing house.



Researchers are delighted with the birth of Dolly, a lamb who is the first cloned mammal, even if it scares some laymen.

Vine breeding institutes search at length for cold and disease-resistant grape varieties. Regent is one of the few real achievements. It is therefore hurriedly classified as a variety for quality wine in German, although it is not a pure vitis vinifera. The resistance to mildew turns out later to be less advanced than expected. Nevertheless, it prevails on the northern limits of the wine growing zone.

In a manifesto, the VDP (private association of German quality wine producers) demands an official classification of vineyard sites from the authorities. Still later, the movement will result in a hierachy with First and Great Growths, which will come to represent the best German wines.

ProWein 1995

For the second edition, visitors have the choice between the names ProVins, ProVino, ProWine or even ProWein. Suppliers from classic wine countries such as France and Italy particularly like the format.

The fair already occupies two halls.

A tasting zone celebrates its premiere. The theme of „dry white wines“ picks up on a new trend.


Marques de Grinon, one of the flagships of Spanish viticulture, at ProWein 1995

Also present since 1995: Tsantalis.

Wine of Australia“ has also been represented at ProWein since 1995. By 2018, around 1,000 downunder exhibitors had presented themselves in Düsseldorf.

Weinstrasse Adolph – represented at the trade fair since the second ProWein.

Photomodels at the opening press conference for ProWein 1995.

Sometimes they ran in parallel: ProWein and GDS, International Shoe Fair.


From the mid-nineties films and series such as “Sex And The City”, “The Big Lebowski” or “Lost In Translation” revolve around main characters with deliberately eccentric beverage preferences.

Homer Simpson and his local pub’s Duff beer have already achieved cult status.

The American director Francis Ford Coppola takes a break from artistic work (“The Godfather”, “Apocalypse Now”) and produces some excellent wine at his own winery. He sets off a persistent trend where the focus isn’t always on wine.

ProWein 1994

On February 23rd and 24th, around 1,500 visitors come to PRO VINS in a hall of the Düsseldorf Exhibition Center, to taste the wines of 321 exhibitors. Among them are French and Italian visitors, even Hungarians and Colombians. Every sixth visitor comes from abroad, largely unnoticed by the public. The fair is designed as a trade fair only for the industry.

One of the first exhibitors: The Wittmann winery from Westhofen on the Moselle.

Curtain up for the first ProWein 1994 – at that time still under the name ProVins.

Hall 7 was well filled at the premiere: 1,517 exhibitors and 321 exhibitors from eight nations were on the two days of the fair (Wednesday & Thursday) on the exhibition grounds.

The joint stand of SOPEXA (now BUSINESS FRANCE), at that time the largest national stand with 190 exhibitors.



Geographical areas from Marsala to Mosel become protected origins, and many new world winemakers wonder how they should call these wines in the future. Chilean colleagues solve a different puzzle: Researchers find that many of the country’s Merlots taste so different because the vines consist partly of Carmenère, for which Chile will soon become famous.


Jeff Bezos christens his company Amazon. Initially, it’s known by only a very few people.

An equally unknown connoisseur buys a barrel of 1989 Macallan Whiskey for £2,700 and lays it down for 25 years.