If you had thought that 2022 would be any different, you have been as overly optimistic as me. Ah well, better too positive than half-emtpy, right? Talking about positive, it’s a special JollyCellarMaster Weekly because of Covid news big and small, so here we go:
Industry Events, Snippets, and Lego Castles
The Rise of Omicron
It’s time for a confession: I’ve never been to ProWein!
While this must come as a shock, dear reader, it isn’t entirely my fault. You see, two years ago I bought a ticket, booked train tickets and accommodation, only to discover that the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. I mean, who would have said at the end of 2019 when I made the decision that the time had come to visit one of the most important get-togethers in the wine industry, a global pandemic would turn everything upside down? Well, to be fair, their had been some speculation about the coming of such an event, but did you really think it would come this?
Anyway, we all know what happened next (ProWein like many other fairs got cancelled, I got reimbursed for my ticket and most of my other money back) but fast forward two years and it was supposed to make a grand return.
However, last week the first voices surfaced that ProWein in light of the rise of Omicron could stick to its plans and was considering pushing it back to May.
Wein+Markt first reported last week that after weeks of rumors and talk in the wine industry about whether there will actually be a ProWein this year, there were increasing indications that the international wine trade fair will not take place from 27th to 29th March as originally planned. A brief article said that the company behind the event, Messe Düsseldorf, was apparently planning to postpone it to May. The specific dates were still under review as the trade fair company had to review the entire trade fair calendar for 2022. Considered to be the most important wine fair in the world, ProWein, which in recent years has had over 60,000 visitors and about 7,000 exhibitors from around 60 countries, was cancelled in 2020 and 2021.
Will I be luckier this year then? Regardless of the exact date of the 2022 edition, it probably will still be challenging to organise an event of that scale given the situation of the pandemic. Vinexpo Wine Parisstill plans to go ahead in February, but considering the current numbers it seems to be a tall order.
Even Vinitaly with its kick-off in April is considerably close to last year’s peak in numbers, so a decision is likely to be left late as for many other important events like the Anteprime di Toscana that has already been pushed back to late March or Grandi Langhe in April. I’ve already given up hope on the local Bozner Weinkost, which goes back to 1896, but refuse to do so yet for the other events. Fingers crossed.
Food for Thought
Covid has been one of the big topics last year (and the one before) and as we have just seen will continue to dominate the headlines this year, too.
Not just on a grand scale, but on a very personal level as well. If it needed a reminder, my little one is back in quarantine as another kid in his kindergarden group tested positive. Not much of a surprise given the numbers in Alto Adige and since 3 out of the groups in his school had already shut down, it was only a question of time.
Since this means I’ve been spending more time playing Lego and will do so over the coming days, this week’s weekly comes in an abbreviated form. Rather than the usual extended version I would like to leave you with a couple of headlines and articles you might want to check out to distract you from any Covid-related thoughts:
Not only have the great houses of Champagne invested in English bubbles, but now Henkell-Freixenet acquired UK’s Bolney Wine Estate as Wine-Searcher confirms.
The OIV has found a new home in Dijon but it now looks to hire the right people to fill it, so if you’re looking for a job…
The WSET has a new CEO and it is a woman! The Trust writes that Michelle Brampton will start her new role on 1st February and previously spent 19 years at Treasury Wine Estates (TWE), where she most recently held the role of Managing Director Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) from 2018 to 2021. During this time Michelle was also on the boards of both The Drinks Trust and the Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WSTA). Best of luck!
And that’s all for this week from me, apologies, but I have a castle to build! However, if you have an interesting story to tell or simply want to chat about wine as a guest on the Podcast, connect on Twitter or drop me a line. And if you want to stay in the loop about things happening at the JollyCellarMaster and the world of wine, make sure you sign up to our newsletter.
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