The Coronavirus epidemic has now made a major impact on the global wine industry. Two of Europe’s most important wine exhibitions ProWein and VinItaly have been postponed/canceled. Both shows enjoyed significant attendance growth in 2019, receiving almost 100,000 attendees combined.
•ProWein 2019 Attendance= 61,500
•VinItaly 2019 Attendance= 33,000
The (CDC) Centers For Disease Control and Prevention website states; “A novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in China and which has now been detected in 60 locations internationally, including in the United States. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”)”. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html
The world’s largest trade fair for the wine industry, ProWein announced last week that the fair that was originally set to take place in Düsseldorf on March 15 to 17, 2020 is now canceled. Prowein’s website now states that the next exhibition will take place on March 21-23, 2021.
A statement on their website states; “Coronavirus: Precautions taken by Messe Düsseldorf
We take the concerns of our customers, guests, and partners regarding the coronavirus very seriously. Your safety is always our top priority. As exhibitors and visitors, you can expect a high level of hygiene, safety, and good medical care at the Düsseldorf trade fair grounds as usual. Messe Düsseldorf is closely monitoring current developments and is in direct contact with the health authorities”.
On February 26, 2020, the press office Veronafiere sent a press release confirming that the VinItaly show would continue as planned for April 19 to 22, 2020. However, when I visited their website, a popup window stated that VinItaly dates have moved to June 14-17, 2020.
After considering the terrible flux of COVID-19 cases(115, 242 cases, 13,915 deaths), show management has decided to cancel this year’s exhibition. The 2021 dates are now April 18-21, 2021.
The decision to reposition Vinitaly to 2021 was made in agreement with representatives of sector associations: Ernesto Abbona, President of the Italian Wine Union, Riccardo Ricci Curbastro, President of Federdoc, Riccardo Cotarella, President of Assoenologi, Sandro Boscaini, President of Federvini, Luca Rigotti, wine sector coordinator for Alleanza Cooperative, and Matilde Poggi, President of the Italian Federation of Independent Wine-Growers.
For more VinItaly details visit:
Wine producers are hopeful that the situation in Europe stabilizes and these important annual shows will take place this year as planned.
In the US, Food & Wine Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, Hunter Lewis, announced that the 2020 Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, scheduled for June 2020, was also canceled. “We made this decision out of concern for the safety of our community and the world beyond it. We’re also hearing from our partners and friends in the culinary, wine, and hospitality industries whose businesses and employees have been impacted in profound ways,”—stated Lewis. Food & Wine is offering full refunds to ticketholders, or ticket transfers to the 2021 Food & Wine Classic. The Food & Wine Classic in Aspen 2021 will be taking place June 18-20, 2021.