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Sunday 23 January 2022

Update: London Wine Fair forced to change dates

The London Wine Fair has announced new dates for its 2022 event, which will now run from June 7-19. 

The change comes after the event was blindsided by rival German wine trade fair ProWein. 

Many exhibitors were booked in for both events, which would have clashed. 

 “Our objective is simply to create the best outcome for the wine industry," said Hannah Tovey, event director of London Wine Fair. 

"Being forced to decide between the two events was proving extremely unpalatable and clearly being in two places at once simply isn’t possible. When we pitched the possibility of moving the Fair to June, the response from our exhibitors was a resounding 'yes'."

This was my earlier story: 

Along with the various VinExpo events and VinItaly, the London Wine Fair and ProWein are two of the major wine industry events of the year in Europe. 

So how, then, have the London Wine Fair and ProWein (above) ended up with a date clash? 

It would appear the organisers of ProWein are to blame. 

After two years of cancellations the German trade fair announced this week it had switched its dates from March 27-29 to May 15-17. 

The only problem is that the London event, which has run for 40 years, had already locked in May 16-18. 

ProWein director Bastian Mingers told Drinks Business the Dusseldorf event had selected “the only alternative date” - which seems a little lame. 

Blaming the move on the spread of the Omicron variant in Germany, Wolfram N. Diener, CEO of Messe Düsseldorf – the organisers of ProWein – said that both the fair’s “partners and associations involved” regard the early summer “as the ideal period”. 

London Wine Fair director Hannah Tovey told Drinks Business that she was “confused, bemused, and angry” at the date clash, describing the move as “an extremely aggressive assault on both the London Wine Fair and the UK drinks market.”

Exhibitors, including wine producers from around the world, will have to choose one fair over another, while buyers will be faced with a similar choice. 

ProWein is expected to return to its usual March schedule in 2023.

In the meantime, it appears that all is fair in love and wine. 


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