Olly Wehring

Herzlichen gruss von ProWein 2007 - Day 3

By: Olly Wehring - 20 March 2007 11:01

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Greetings from day three at ProWein.

Things here in Düsseldorf appear much quieter today than they did during the show’s middle day yesterday, but just-drinks still has a busy diary before flying home tonight.

We spent much of our time yesterday in hall six - home to the New World wine companies during their stay here. Our chats with various Australian producers about the supply issues this year’s tough harvest will cause have proved most interesting. The most confident are those with solid grower contracts in place, but it will be far harder for those who don’t have steady access to fruit. Indeed, when one producer was asked what he felt the next 12 months held for the country, his reply was short and sweet: “Pain.”

The question many seem to be asking is who will benefit from Australia’s potential problems supplying its markets at price points customers have become used to.

It all points to a fascinating year ahead for the global wine industry with pitfalls and opportunities seemingly round every corner.

Expect the gloves to come off, too, as it will be those with the most aggressive intentions that will benefit most from their competitors’ misfortunes.

As if on cue, it was entertaining last night to watch a spat develop between the Chilean contingent here and their neighbours in hall six, Foster’s. The problem? The Chileans felt Foster’s were affecting visitors to their stand by offering attendees a beer.

You could almost here the cries of “Sabotage!” and “Killjoy!”

All very amusing from a journalist’s point of view - until just-drinks got caught in the crossfire and was moved along by show organisers trying to act as mediators before we had been able to get our hands on a cold one.

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