Allegrini 2024

Politics, economics, curiosities and trends: insights from ProWein 2024

From market difficulties to low-alcohol wines, from the first AI-designed wine to the EU elections, the complex picture of the industry’s future

Politics, economics, curiosities and trends that will animate the wine market in the coming years. Also an edition that was by many accounts underwhelming, and reflecting in its own way the difficulties of the wine market, ProWein 2024, which closed last night, in Düsseldorf, and which left some insights to offer. If, as we have already reported on WineNews, many Italian producers emphasized a certain eagerness to get back on track, including on the part of buyers (who were present in smaller numbers than in the past, with Asia virtually absent), the difficulties of declining consumption and unflourishing economies just about everywhere are still being felt in the traditional wine market, at every latitude.
While in the spotlight, with the peace of mind of critics who do not appreciate them, and of an Italian regulation that still does not allow them to be produced, at the national level, no and low-alcohol wines have stolen the scene. Which, in the first 2 months 2024, according to data diagrammed at the fair, have already made +91% on the same period 2023, with a growth of 7% per year until 2026, according to Iwsr - International Wine & Spirits Research, and of which Germany itself is the first market in volume, followed by Spain, USA, Japan and Uk. A trend also ridden by Italian companies such as Bottega, among the most important names in the Prosecco world, which has long since launched some products on the market, also re-proposed at ProWein 2024, and which in 2023, Sandro Bottega points out, has already sold 200,000 bottles of “no alcohol” products, at +8% over 2022. Another recurring theme, and one that is increasingly impacting the market, is that of sustainability. Which if for many continues to rhyme with organic, for others is a broader concept, and one that starts from the bottle itself. And among the curiosities, at the fair, there are those who, like Cantine Ceci 1938, among the leaders in Lambrusco, launched its aluminum bottle on the market, lightweight and recyclable, of course, as part of the “For The Future Sustainability Project”, after having presented the concept at Vinitaly 2023. Desire for novelty, in general, seems to be one of the key words, as also witnessed by Schenk Family Italia, which welcomed even more visitors from all over the world than in the past, with as many as 1,800 tastings (+12.5% over 2023), presenting another curiosity: a bottle whose label changes color depending on the temperature, dedicated to Masso Antico’s Primitivo Ice, a red wine designed to be drunk chilled, another small trend that is taking hold in a wine world that is seeing many of its “taboos” fall, especially thanks to the lighter approach of young people. New generations that wineries are seeking to involve more and more in projects such as the Zonin1821 Group, which has shared its knowledge with students, welcoming their suggestions on how to improve, in Italian universities, and which in the future will be complementary to the Zonin1821 Academy, an “in-house school” to train collaborators and business partners. “With Millennials and Gen Z, we need to dialogue with complementary themes than those we are used to, centered on organoleptic characteristics alone. And not with a unidirectional communication, but by inviting them to enrich the sector and reflect on responsible consumption, the relationship between wine and health, sustainability, the social activities we do, and novelties such as ready-to-drink or non-alcoholic products that flank traditional proposals and can be the subject of consumer experimentation”, said the Group’s chairman, Domenico Zonin.
Among the confirmations, on the other hand, was the passion of Germans and world consumers for Italian wine, the most present, albeit to a lesser degree than in the past, with more collectives and a few defections among medium-small companies, at the fair, as already announced in the days leading up to the kermesse (but in sharp decline, was also the representation of France, which, in the future, will further reduce its presence by focusing heavily on the “home” event, Wine Paris & Vinexpo in Paris, ed.) Because, as Silvano Brescianini, president of Consorzio Franciacorta, reiterated, “Germany is a key market and ProWein represents an excellent opportunity to consolidate our presence in such a dynamic and exciting context”.
And, indeed, there was no shortage of top Italian brands, from Angelini Wines & Estates to Caprai, from Romano dal Forno to Gini, from Umani Ronchi to Planeta, from Antinori to Banfi, from Bortolomiol to Cadis, from Albino Armani to Settesoli, from Carpenè Malvolti to Carpineto, from Zonin1821 to Mazzei, from Caviro to Cavit, from Cesari to Collemassari, from Cusumano to Donnafugata, from Cecchi to Frescobaldi, from Ferrari to Feudi di San Gregorio, from Fontanafredda to Fantini Group, from Berlucchi to Gruppo Italiano Vini (Giv), from Tenute del Leone Alato to Leone de Castris, from Lungarotti to Masciarelli, from Masi to Michele Chiarlo, from Pasqua Vigneti e Cantine to Piccini 1882, from Rocca delle Macìe to Santa Margherita, from Bellavista to Tedeschi, from San Felice to Speri, from Tenuta San Guido (Sassicaia) to Tenute del Cerro, from Terre d’Oltrepò to Tommasi Family Estates, from Tua Rita to Velenosi, from Venica & Venica to Vietti, from Vignaioli del Morellino di Scansano to Villa Sandi, from Zenato to Zorzettig, passing through Consortia such as those for Brunello di Montalcino, Nobile di Montepulciano, Prosecco Doc, Bolgheri, Valpolicella, Franciacorta, Asti, Manduria, Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Docg, Lambrusco, Lugana, Morellino di Scansano, Maremma, Doc delle Venezie, Doc Roma, Vini d’Abruzzo, Soave, Vini di Romagna, Chianti, Chianti Classico, and Alto Adige, and even Istituto Marchigiano Tutela Vini and Piemonte Land of Wine, and large business groupings such as Italiana Signature Wines Academy and Italia del Vino Consorzio. A passion, which also grows in the pairing of our wines with made-in-Italy food, as Ascovilo has chosen to do, which brings together the wine consortia of Lombardy, from Oltrepò Pavese to Lugana, from Garda Doc to Valtellina, from Valtènesi to Valcalepio, together with the Consorzio del Grana Padano.
But at ProWein 2024, in more ways than one, it was mostly about the future. As did, for example, “Wine of Moldova”, which launched two wines, a red and a white, made completely under AI (artificial intelligence) guidance on variety, harvest, winemaking, blending, labeling and product communication. Or as did the 16 wineries from Ukraine, at the fair, for the second time, representing an industry that, despite its 30,000 hectares of vineyards mainly around Odessa and Kherson, with an average production of 66 million liters per year, in 2023 continued to survive despite Russian bombs, and managed to put together exports worth $9 million, according to data from “Wines of Ukraine”, released at ProWein.
Still, while waiting for Vinitaly 2024, April 14-17 in Verona, as announced by Agriculture Minister Francesco Lollobrigida, to bring together the ministers of the member countries of the OIV - International Organization of Vine and Wine (which is celebrating its 100th anniversary), at ProWein 2024 the Arev, the Assembly of European Wine Regions, met, whose members expressed their concerns about the prospects for the sector (as evidenced not only by the market slowdown, but also, for example, the severe crisis in Bordeaux, France, especially on low-priced wines, which we have often told you about in recent months), and which, also in view of the European Parliament elections next June, urged political parties, “with less than 100 days to go before the renewal of the Parliament”, to “honor their commitments on viticulture, calling for a real political will to reverse the situation”, for a sector that sees European viticulture facing “a critical crossroads”. “Arev’s concern also extends to declining consumption in some wine segments and the devastating impact of climate change on vineyards. We support solutions that adapt production to these challenges, promoting close collaboration between regions, countries and the European Commission. Instead of looking for a scapegoat, Arev advocates a common approach to finding sustainable solutions: in this pre-election period, we call for an unprecedented mobilization of political and professional actors, inviting them to work together in the search for effective solutions to ensure the sustainable future of European viticulture”, Arev stresses.
But, as always, ProWein 2024 was also a time for a comparison of productions from countries around the world. As, for example, in the traditional space of the International Wine Competition “Mundus Vini” signed by the German publisher Meininger, with many of the award-winning wines in the recent “Spring Tasting”, honored with the “Grand International Wine Award” No. 34, being tasted. Among the wines from as many as 45 producing countries, the Belpaese triumphed over all, with 639 medals (12 Grand Gold, 370 Gold and 257 Silver), ahead of Spain (535), Portugal (352) and France (296), with the highest recognition achieved by, among others, wineries such as Donnafugata, with its Ben Ryè 2021, Claudio Quarta Vignaiolo, with its Anima di Primitivo 2021, or again, by Fattoria La Vialla, with its Vin Santo del Chianti Occhio di Pernice Riserva 2015, passing by Roberto Sarotto, with its Barbaresco 2019, but also by Fantini Group, with its Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2022 and with its Messapi Negramaro di Puglia 2023, with the winery of the Usa Platinum fund that, “Mundus Vini” explains, overall, is the most awarded in Italy. And with top Italian wine brands still rising to the headlines, including with Planeta, elected “Wine family of the year” of the “Meininger Awards Excellence in Wine & Spirit” No. 18, one of the most prestigious awards in German wine, staged in Düsseldorf, during the days of ProWein.
Insights and highlights from a fair that, despite some misgivings expressed by several exhibitors (Italian and otherwise, ed.), was satisfactory for the organizers, with 47,000 trade visitors from 135 countries, according to official numbers from Messe Düsseldorf: “no other fair offers such a wide range as ProWein and all international wine regions are represented in Düsseldorf. We are delighted not only to record the high quality from exhibitors, but also to see top-notch people traveling to Düsseldorf from all over the world, including an increasing number of executives with decision-making powers”, the words of director Peter Schmitz, giving details of the upcoming Prowein 2025, March 16-18.

Copyright © 2000/2024

Contatti: info@winenews.it
Seguici anche su Twitter: @WineNewsIt
Seguici anche su Facebook: @winenewsit

Questo articolo è tratto dall'archivio di WineNews - Tutti i diritti riservati - Copyright © 2000/2024