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Live Blog - ProWein 2015 - Day 1

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11.15 CET: ProWein 2015 is well under way here in the German city of Düsseldorf. It's grey and chilly outside, but hundreds of trade visitors are flocking in. There are a few changes to the lay out this year, which is keeping everyone on their toes. Organisers are claiming that there are around 5,800 exhibitors from 50 countries, across nine halls. With that in mind, I'm off to discover the show. For a shot of the entrance, click here.

ProWein kicked off today in Düsseldorf

ProWein kicked off today in Düsseldorf

14.30 CET: A tour of Hall 9 this morning indicates just how vast this show is: Major exhibitors in this hall alone include Wines of South Africa, Wines of Argentina, Concha y Toro and Treasury Wine Estates. And, there's still another eight halls to explore. English Wine Producers also has a presence in Hall 9 and I caught up with Frazer Thompson, CEO of Chapel Down (and ex-Heineken). Thompson told me about the firm's latest export plans. Of note is that Chapel Down is targeting a full launch into the US next summer with its wines and beers. "It's about finding the right partner (distributor) in the US," says Frazer. One surprise at the EWP stand is the absence of Nyetimber.

Casella Family Brands got the just-drinks interview treatment today, with global marketing & export sales manager Libby Nutt offering us her insight. Yellow Tail is still flying in the US, it would appear, while the UK is also motoring with sales of the brand up 20% last year. The group is also gearing up to boost the global presence of its recently-acquired Peter Lehmann portfolio. At the same time, the firm's focus on premium is intensifying with its 1919 brand leading the charge. This afternoon, I'll be catching up with Concha Toro's export director, Thomas Domeyko. 

17.30 CET Things are winding down here on day one of ProWein. Informal meetings are being conducted over a glass of something fruity, instead of coffee. Concha's export director was on good form, explaining that its Casillero del Diablo brand registered global volume growth last year of 17%. However, Russia, unsurprisingly, is a concern for the company this year. Domeyko was full of praise for ProWein as a show: "It's becoming extremely important to us," he says.

I eventually manage to escape Hall 9 and head to another hall largely given over to spirits. The difference in atmosphere is striking. Hip, young bartenders in skinny jeans lope around, offering a sharp contrast to the chino-clad brigade elsewhere. The number of London dry gin brands on offer caught my eye, including Broker's - replete with bowler hat-wearing representatives - and Master's.

That's it from me today. More tomorrow.


Sectors: Wine

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