08 March 2023 / Wines of Hungary
As in almost every sector of the economy, the pandemic has had a serious impact on trade fairs and exhibitions. Last year, ProWein reopened its doors after a two-year hiatus, having postponed the event until late spring. This year, the organisers have scheduled this prestigious fair for its usual March date, so the global wine industry has been preparing for months for the Düsseldorf event. Pál Rókusfalvy, Government Commissioner for National Wine Marketing, and Péter Ondré, Managing Director of the Agricultural Marketing Centre, shared their insights on what visitors to the Hungarian stand can expect.
How big a stand and how many exhibitors will Wines of Hungary have at ProWein?
Pál Rokusfálvy: The Wines of Hungary team and 34 co-exhibiting wineries will once again welcome trade visitors to its relatively large 338-square-metre stand between 19 and 21 March 2023. Co-exhibitors include 18 wineries from Tokaj, 7 from the Balaton Wine Region, 4 from the Upper Pannon Wine Region, 3 from the Pannon Wine Region and 2 from the Upper Hungary Wine Region. As in previous years, the Villány Wine District will also be present in the immediate vicinity of the community stand and will give a tasting presentation at the Wines of Hungary stand. This year, there will be several masterclasses a day, pop-up tastings, and we will organise the ever-popular get-together party once again at the end of the second day of the fair.
Where can visitors find out about the activities on the Hungarian stand?
Pál Rókusfálvy: As in previous years, all relevant information can be found on our English-language hungaryatprowein.com website, including presentations of the exhibiting wineries, detailed descriptions of the wines they are presenting at the fair and details of the professional programmes taking place at the stand. Moreover, the Hungary at ProWein Facebook page also aims to keep you up to date with details of our presence at the exhibition and to showcase the Hungarian producers exhibiting on the stand.
Who will be presenting at the Hungarian stand and on what topics?
Péter Ondré: We have invited Masters of Wine and prominent Hungarian wine experts to help present Hungarian wines professionally. In 2023, five Masters of Wine and three Hungarian WSET diploma graduates will lead a total of eleven masterclasses. Special attention will be paid to Hungary’s flagship grape and wine varieties, such as Kékfrankos, Furmint and Tokaji Aszú. However, it is also refreshing to see the growth of Hungarian sparkling wines, which have been gaining ground for years, so we have also included these in the tastings.
What kind of programmes do Wines of Hungary have in store this year?
Péter Ondré: As well as the ‘classic’ masterclasses at the stand, we will be organising a pop-up tasting every day to showcase the different wine styles from the Tokaj region, culminating in what will surely be the most special wine of the day, Tokaji Eszencia from our co-exhibitors’ ranges. Many people may be interested to know that no other wine like Tokaji Eszencia is produced elsewhere in the world. This wine, or rather nectar, is made using a special process. This involves leaving the raisined, botrytised berries to ‘press’ each other under their own weight, thus allowing their juice to drip out. The result is a completely unique wine, both in taste and texture.
Besides the tastings, you should note that this year the organisers are again offering the chance to hold a ProWein Forum, i.e. a masterclass for up to 50 people, which is a highlight for both trade and visitors. This will include traditional method sparkling wine, dry wines and sweet botrytised wines. To close the second day of the exhibition, we are also organising our previously mentioned stand party, an informal but very important business networking event.
Besides the Wines of Hungary stand, what other exhibitors will represent Hungary?
Péter Ondré: I think it is hugely important for the international marketing of Hungarian wines that, as well as the community stand, several Hungarian wineries have been present individually for many years. The Villány Wine District stand also goes back several years, with nine wineries representing Hungary’s southernmost wine region this year. It should also be emphasised that the Hungarian exhibitors’ stands are always located in the same pavilion, close to each other, thus benefitting from the power and potential of a unified look. This year, besides wine, Hungary will also be represented in another pavilion by pálinka producers, who will be giving a masterclass at the Wines of Hungary stand as well.
Why is it worth visiting the Hungarian stand?
Pál Rókusfalvy: ProWein Düsseldorf is still one of the most important international fairs in the wine world, where professionals come not only to establish new contacts, but also to strengthen existing collaborations. The Hungarian stand will feature prestigious wineries from almost every wine region in the country, as well as some more recently established wineries. What they all have in common is that their wines are conscientiously made and of high quality. They will all be represented by their eponymous owners or senior management, as they believe that being present in person ensures they also convey the same dedication to their wines at events and tastings. I attach great importance to the ProWein exhibition, which I am attending for the first time as an official participant. Besides its international impact, this year’s fair will also be important in that some details of the national wine marketing strategy currently being prepared will be known by then and will certainly be discussed here, so we expect increased interest. We look forward to welcoming you at the Wines of Hungary stand D20 in Hall 12.