The director of London Wine Fair (LWF) has called Prowein’s shift from March to May an “extremely aggressive move”. Prowein made the announcement today, following speculation in the trade earlier this month. 

Hannah Tovey, LWF event director, said the new date, which clashes with the Olympia show, is “a direct attack on both the London Wine Fair and the UK drinks market”. 

“The Fair has been a firm fixture in the wine trade’s diary for more than 40 years, and this move will be extremely disruptive for our industry,” she said. “The decision has been taken without consideration for many of their exhibitors or for their UK visitor audience.  We have made numerous attempts to contact them since last week when rumours of a date change started circulating.  They have not had the courtesy to respond.

“This amounts to a huge upheaval for the wine industry, at a time when we are all craving a smooth return to normality. We are all aware of the impact Covid-19 has had on drinks industry exhibitions.  The 2020 London Wine Fair was postponed to 2021, which subsequently took place digitally.  At the time, our primary concern was to support our exhibitors, all of whom were offered a refund on their 2020 stands and we believe we behaved with the utmost integrity throughout.  After the last two years of disruption, the drinks events industry should be working together to facilitate opportunities for the wine trade to do business.”

Tovey confirmed that LWF will take place as a live event at Olympia between May 16-18.  It will also run digitally over May 9-10.

In response, Bastian Mingers, project director wine & spirits, Messe Düsseldorf said he is aware of the overlap with LWF and Prowein organisers “regret this very much”.

“Due to the current high level of infections and the rapidly spreading Omicron variant, we had to move a total of five international trade shows organised by Messe Düsseldorf to early summer,” Mingers said. “It was important for us to closely coordinate all new dates with all parties involved. We had many discussions with representatives of the wine and spirits industry and assessed alternatives. For Prowein, the time slots were particularly tight because we also have to keep in mind concerns such as the vegetation cycle for example. Therefore, the only alternative date for ProWein 2022 was this one from 15 to 17 May.”