ProWein 2024 - Boutinot


A round up of our International team’s recent visit to ProWein

By Jessica Pioli-Coccorese, International Marketing Manager


Notwithstanding the enormous effort that goes into planning Boutinot’s attendance at ProWein, the fair holds a special place in my heart (not least because it gives me a legitimate reason to use a clipboard). While my view of the fair is mainly from the Boutinot stand, I am still awestruck by the scale of it: with 17 halls, 5,400 exhibitors from 65 countries, and 47,000 visitors, the fair doesn’t so much ‘buzz’ as it does throb with activity.


There has been lots of talk over recent months about whether or not ProWein will continue to be the biggest wine fair in the world. In a rare moment of “free” time, I explored the nearby halls, packed with visitors and an almost mind-boggling number of exhibitors, and this debate quickly seemed immaterial. It’s almost impossible to visit all of the halls over the full weekend without some serious pre-planning, and the breadth of products on offer in terms of origin, style and sector is unparalleled.


For me, 2024 marked my 4th ProWein (it would have been my 6th, had it not been for Covid), but for some colleagues the number of visits to the fair is over twenty. While most meetings on the stand were commercially focused, there were also visits from old friends and colleagues who talked about “the good old days” and reminisced about how both the fair and Boutinot have grown.


It’s not just size and scale that have changed: there are always new and challenging developments. The ProWein theme this year was “Same but Different” with Hall 7 dedicated to the topic of trends, along with the launch of the Spirits Hall. While we kept Boutinot Spirits close to home on our stand in Hall 14, a lot more buyers than in previous years came to us with their sights set not just on wine. Sustainability was also the word of the weekend with many exhibitors making it their main draw. Paper wine bottles, net-zero products and innovation abounded, and many of our customers drew the conversation to kegs and BIBs.


Growth also doesn’t just refer to numbers. We had visitors to our stand this year from markets we’ve never explored before, requiring some nimble back-of-house thinking on which account manager was most appropriate. Many visitors were also looking for alternatives to their usual acquisitions: lesser-known regions of origin and native grape varieties, as well as low ABV wines.


On the Monday morning, we held a masterclass on the stand, with Wildeberg winemaker JD Rossouw presenting his experiences of blending wines from across the Western Cape. Off the back of a second-year win of “Winery of the Year” for Wildeberg, the wines were a major focus for us and proved as popular as ever.


The launch of our new Home, Heaphy in New Zealand, also drew people to the stand. Winemaker Andy Nicole joined us for the first time and stepped up to the challenge, presenting the wines, and meeting customers and prospects almost non-stop. The wines were so well received that we almost ran out of samples on the first day!


The fair was the birthplace of Boutinot’s International team, after the company’s first trip there sparked the idea of export, so for us it’s almost like coming home. Having conducted almost 200 meetings in three days this year, it’s safe to say that it was time very well spent for all of us. No matter where the industry debate about “which wine fair” goes, ProWein is the one by which all others will be measured.


Needless to say, planning is already underway for ProWein 2025, so we shall see you there for “a taste of tomorrow”!

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