ProWein is one of the largest industry events for professionals from the worlds of viticulture, production, trade and gastronomy, taking place in Düsseldorf, Germany from March 18-20. This year, the event can expect a large American contingent of buyers looking for bottles that will appeal to consumers from coast-to-coast.
To make life a little easier for U.S. importers looking for producers, ProWein, together with Wine Enthusiast Importer Connection is offering a special program, Route USA. It’s designed to help link U.S. importers with producers not currently distributed in the U.S.
The nation’s largest wine distributor, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, which distributes more than 150 million cases annually in 44 U.S. markets, will be at ProWein, as will organic grocer Whole Foods, the newest addition to online retail giant Amazon.
The two men who buy wines for Whole Foods stores in the U.S., Canada and Britain, Doug Bell, the senior global coordinator of beverage, and Devon Broglie, a Master Sommelier who is the global beverage buyer, called ProWein the “best use of time” for wine buyers.
“It’s very well run, very well put together and it’s business first,” Bell said.
Before Amazon’s $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods last summer, the grocer was selling more than three million cases a year. That number is expected to rise sharply.
“Our job is to bring the best wines to market that we can for the price,” Bell said. He noted that there was certainly room for the small producer. “The Whole Foods pie is big enough to give everybody a slice.”
Shaw-Ross International Importers, headed by Wine Enthusiast’s Wine Star Award recipient Bruce Hunter, will also be attending ProWein, as will two-time Wine Star Award-winning retailer Total Wine & More. Gallo Family Wines will be there as well as Treasury Wine Estates.