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Trade Fairs and major maneuvers: Wine Paris is growing, ProWein is reorganizing, Vinitaly is focusing on the USA

Strategies of the major wine trade Fair players Paris, Dusseldorf and Verona on the changing market and wineries rationalizing investments
Fairs: Wine Paris is growing, ProWein is reorganizing, Vinitaly is focusing on the USA

The wine world is looking towards a short summer break, which is becoming shorter and shorter, as promotional events are ending, while harvesting is starting more and more in August and the major European Fairs are beginning to move. The French are more than ever linked to Paris as the Vinexposium event, until now “Vinexpo Paris - Wine Paris”, has become, simply “Wine Paris” (effectively distancing itself, even in name, from Bordeaux and its now archived Vinexpo), and looking more intently to International exhibitors, first of all Italy. ProWein in Dusseldorf, instead, is redesigning its spaces, including one pavilion less for France, and also restructuring the top management of the German Fair, while Vinitaly is focusing definitely on the United States.
The 6th edition of “Wine Paris” will be the first Fair on the calendar, as is tradition, to be held February 10th to 12th, 2025, at Paris Expo Porte de Versailles. France is the host, obviously, of the Parisian fair, which by virtue of the French capital being an International metropolis, aims to become more and more a world fair. Actually, it already is, since in 2024, 53% of exhibitors were not French (48 producing countries participated, Italy leading), while 41% of visitors came from abroad (137 countries). It is no coincidence then, that “at the 2025 Fair, International producers will have three pavilions, including Pavilion 4, located in a central and strategic position. This will become the focal point for an extensive and varied choice of International products. Demand from Italy has been so strong since 2023 that it will occupy an entire pavilion, Pavilion 6”, a Vinexposium note explained. The CEO, Rodolphe Lameyse, said, “since 2020, the International reach of Wine Paris has been one of the pillars of its development. The show now has fully kept its promise, confirming its role as an unmissable business event. It is our responsibility to support the sector in its response to global challenges caused primarily by geopolitical tensions, environmental issues and changing consumption patterns”.
ProWein, instead, will be held from March 16th to 18th, 2025, and for many people it will be a real test for the historic German Fair. Some people consider it an important and indispensable event, while others, among the prominent Fairs, say it will be the “sacrificial lamb” (to Paris’ advantage) on the altar of rationalizing costs incurred by companies for events. On June 30th, a note from the Dusseldorf Fair explained, online registration for exhibitors will close, and space assignments will be made by September. It is a fact, though, that the Pavilions will be redesigned. Italy now will have two Pavilions, 15 and 16, confirmed, and instead it should no longer occupy the small portion of Pavilion 17 that it has had until now. France, instead, will have only Pavilion 10, while Pavilion 9, which was mostly occupied by French producers, will be the prerogative of “Portugal and other European countries”, we read in a note. “The 2024 edition of ProWein, was an important anniversary for the Fair, and it was concluded successfully. However, the route towards the future of the largest and most important Fair in the world in the wine and spirits sector has been tracked out, and preparations for ProWein 2025 in Düsseldorf have begun. Our motto, Discover The Taste of Tomorrow, will introduce a new look & feel as well as customized concepts. The more compact distribution in the eleven ProWein halls is the key to success in this respect. In the interest of our exhibitors and visitors from all over the world, we have decided to return to a much more compact space distribution, as we had done before the Pandemic,” Peter Schmitz, ProWein Director, explained. “The advantage for visitors means reducing the distances between one exhibitor and another. This restructuring is accompanied by a different location for the different wine-growing Nations”, the official version of the Fair reads. In the meantime, it is also redesigning its top management. “Starting from August 1, 2024, Marius Berlemann will become the new Managing Director Operative Trade Fair Business of Messe Düsseldorf, succeeding Erhard Wienkamp, who will retire in July 2024. In addition to numerous leading trade Fairs world-wide, Marius Berlemann will also curate the Wine & Spirits portfolio, with ProWein, and together with Michael Degen, Executive Director Messe Düsseldorf, and Peter Schmitz, Director ProWein, will form the new management team of the ProWein World family”.
Vinitaly 2025 will take place from April 6th to 9th, 2025. In the meantime, Veronafiere is looking forward to the debut of Vinitaly.USA in Chicago, on October 20th and 21st, 2024, and therefore has intensified diplomatic networking of Veronafiere-Vinitaly with American institutions. The 248th anniversary of the US Independence Day was celebrated recently at Villa Taverna, in Rome, at the residence of the Ambassador of the United States of America to Italy, Jack Markell. Veronafiere and its brand promoting Italian wine in the world, was the sponsor of the official reception, which, as usual, anticipated the US National holiday on July 4th in the US Consular offices in our Country. “Our support for the US Embassy event in Rome consolidates an institutional alliance that has further strengthened the relationships between Veronafiere SpA and the number one outlet market of Italian wine” - Veronafiere president, Federico Bricolo commented, “and and it is even more relevant, as in just a few months Vinitaly.Usa in Chicago will debut, on the 20th and 21st of October. It is a key positioning, which establishes the metropolis as a strategic bridge between Italy and the number one destination of Made in Italy wine, which, in 2023 totaled 2 billion US dollars in imports. It is important to remember that the Chicago market is also appealing to buyers from neighboring Canada, therefore generating further growth opportunities for our companies”. The celebratory evening was attended, among others, by the Veronafiere Director, Adolfo Rebughini and the ICE-Agency president, Matteo Zoppas, as well as the Italian Foreign Minister, Antonio Tajani, who, in his speech, also referred to the commercial alliance between the two Countries. Tajani said that “Italy and the United States, together, have started to soar”, underlining that Made in Italy agri-food is an important and fundamental element of Italian exports. Following the “zero edition” in 2023, Vinitaly.Usa (at the iconic Navy Pier Exhibition Center), is the business to business event that aims to become the first Italian wine Fair on American soil, signed by the compact cooperation of Veronafiere, ICE-Agenzia and the Italian American Chamber of Commerce (based in Chicago).
One of the objectives is to double both the contingent of Italian companies and American buyers compared to 2023, while at the same time increase the bidirectional promotion program. Veronafiere has confirmed the Vinitaly development plan for the Chicago event, as well, which, on one hand, contemplates an increase of Italian companies in an area that has ample margins for growth. On the other, profiling and selection of buyers and distributors in view of Vinitaly 2025 in Verona. It is an incoming activity, which at Vinitaly 2024 in Verona, confirmed the United States’ leading position in the ranking of foreign professionals’ participation: 3.700 American buyers at the Fair (+8% compared to 2023). The program of the two-day Vinitaly.Usa in Chicago includes Master classes led by the major International magazines in the sector, walk around tastings, seminars, market focus, and three sessions of the Vinitaly International Academy.

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