ProWein? Nein Danke

Written by Franz Weninger on the 23rd of March 2017

What do "yobbish" 16-year-olds have to do with ProWein? Wine fairs without soul? We’re selling life culture, after all.

An explanation of why we did not go to ProWein.

I have just returned from a wonderful wine presentation in Sestri Levante, and it was only there that I realised what I don’t like about ProWein, and why I was so glad not to have attended it this year. Lifeless halls, stressed clients, attention-seeking winemakers. It feels like a school outing where 16-year-old teenagers try to prove to the girls and other classmates how cool they actually aren’t.

One thing I must mention straight away: The ÖWM and the WKO are doing some things right: the architecture of the Austria Hall gives an impression of warmth and heart, making it an island of serenity in this very industrial building.

A Culinary Nomansland

Dear Düsseldorf, please don’t misunderstand me – I have nothing against you, but there is simply a very chilly atmosphere at your place. Yes, last year, you did catch up Carnival during ProWein and yes, there was a lot going on, but it was more about drinking like a fish than drinking in the culture. Of course there is also some food culture in Düsseldorf, but during the fair it all seems a bit stilted. One constantly has the feeling that people are trying to sell bad products at the highest possible prices (except the one Greek, who is truly a great guy with a great restaurant). And if you happen to find a nice little place, it’s fully booked. As for the wine, which is a beverage meant to connect people, is turned into a divider here. Yes, our way of farming is also represented at this fair – a colossus on its last legs, destined for downfall. Onto new things!

So how was Triple A in Sestri Levante?

An old castle high up on the mountain with a view of the sea and the cultural landscape of the Sestri Levante. Regional cuisine prepared with ingredients from the winemaker’s gardens. That’s what I call culture! Not only analysing, but also drinking wine. Yes, you’ve guessed it: I had a great time. The winemakers go celebrate with you the night before, so you are able to have relaxed conversations (if you can speak Italian or French, that is ;-)) You come as you are, simple as that. And then you look forward to next year.

Isn’t it an unfair comparison: the largest wine fair in the world and a little trade fair in Italy?

Do you think so? I don’t. Life is too short to do things you don’t enjoy. If passion comes from suffering, then that’s for other people to endure. I want to live life and I want everyone to be part of it, and my wine should also contribute. Hence, I decided that ProWein 2018 would have to do without me. To this, I raise my glass and shout “Viva la revolución!“ May many follow me and show their wines there where it is appreciated, where it connects people to each other and where it creates enjoyment.

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