On April 12 the first edition of Messe Düsseldorf Japan ProWine Tokyo closed its doors at Tokyo Big Sight. Over three intensive days 197 exhibitors showcased their new vintages and product innovations. On the visitor side, the organisers noted a very satisfying number of 5,500 trade visitors with exhibitors confirming that the premiere of ProWine Tokyo set a new benchmark regarding the great share of professional importers, distributors, retailers and F&B managers. ProWine Tokyo took place parallel to FABEX – The World Food and Beverage Great Expo. It is held on an annual basis concurrently with a series of other trade fairs for gourmet food and beverages at the Big Sight exhibition centre in Tokyo providing a comprehensive overview of the sector.

Exhibits at the premiere of ProWine Tokyo include wine, beer, sake, shochu & awamori, spirits, craft beverages, non-alcoholic and low-alcoholic beverages, accessories and services. 90% of them came from abroad, an unparalleled level of internationalisation. Countries exhibiting with pavilions are France, Germany, Spain and Portugal. The total number of countries/regions is 20, including Armenia, Australia, Austria, Canada, Chile, Mainland China, Hong Kong, Italy, Moldova, the Netherlands, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, the UK, Ukraine, the USA and Japan. Joining brands are reaching 925 and 77% of them are not yet imported into Japan. This presents an excellent opportunity to encounter cutting-edge products.

Commenting on the event Akiko Ohara, General Manager of Messe Düsseldorf Japan Ltd, and Peter Schmitz, Director of ProWein, Messe Düsseldorf said: “The market for wine and spirits in Japan is very promising and offers good business opportunities. We are proud and happy that we have managed to bring here the successful concept of ProWein – one based on diversity, internationality and a pure business focus. ProWine Tokyo got off to a very good start this year and we will continue to work on this basis for the next edition in 2025. We look forward to further developing the show into the No. 1 wine and spirits event in Japan.”

The exhibitors also praised the first edition of ProWine Tokyo and were very satisfied with the results. Sandrine Krummenacher, Business France, sums up as follows: “Our feedback for ProWine Tokyo 2024 is very positive. It was a good choice for Business France to be there for this first edition of ProWine Tokyo with a French pavilion. We came with 26 exhibitors from all French regions. All of them can highlight the quality of visitors. As usual, ProWein fairs are very well organised. We will definitely be back!” Johannes Leitz from the LEITZ winery in Germany (VDP) added: “ProWine Tokyo stands for German precision and expertise in Japan. It is just as well organised as the ‘original’ ProWein in Germany. Our expectations for ProWine Tokyo were clearly exceeded, both in terms of the number of people and the quality of the trade visitors. We are completely satisfied and glad to have taken this opportunity.” Goncalo Rowett, Vinho Verde from Portugal said: “The Japanese market is very interesting for Vinho Verde. A total of 18 producers took the opportunity to present their wines at ProWine Tokyo to this growing market. About half of our producers were looking for an importer. Those who already had one found many good contacts with restaurants, bars and hotels. We also used the forum to hold two masterclasses. Both events were very well attended and show the great interest in our wines from the region Vinho Verde.” Grumic Mladen from Vaucluse (France) also gave positive feedback: “ProWine Tokyo is very well organised and we were able to concentrate on good business for three days. We saw a large number of trade visitors come to our stand, including many importers, wholesalers, restaurants and also representatives of the press. The visitors were very keen to explore and showed great interest in our Rosé wines in particular.” Patrick Bigar, Champagne Bigar, remarked: “At the premiere of ProWine Tokyo we were part of the Champagne Lounge. We presented our brand ‘Champagne Emile Paris’ and the interest was very high. Our aim was to find an importer in Japan and I think that ProWine Tokyo was an ideal platform for this.”

Varied onsite programme

ProWine Tokyo aims to be not only a business platform for exhibitors, but also a stage for worldwide professionals to gain insights on trends and issues that the global wine & spirits industry is facing.  The onsite programme focused on the following areas:

Tasting lounge by MUNDUS VINI – Germany’s international wine competition with over 7,500 entries from around the world. ProWine Tokyo presented 103 awarded wines, including 20 non-alcoholic wines. Champagne Lounge – always loved at ProWein in Germany. Visitors were able to explore high-quality yet little known Champagnes. The ProWein Forum was complemented by two Champagne tastings by Patrick Schmitt, Master of Wine and editor-in-chief of The Drinks Business. At the Spirits Bar, bartenders produced various ways to enjoy spirits, using products from exhibitors. Label Contest took place at the Wine Kingdom corner, focusing on labels that will stand out. Numerous tastings and seminars rounded off the programme.

ProWein – Ticket to the world

ProWine Tokyo is a satellite event of “ProWein” – the world’s largest professional event which has been held in Düsseldorf, Germany for 30 years since 1994 where 5,400 exhibitors gather from all over the world. Changing the German spelling of “Wein” to “Wine,” the ProWine brand has already been launched in Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Mumbai and Sao Paulo, and now came to Tokyo for the first time. The next edition of ProWine Tokyo will be held from 15 – 17 April 2025 at Tokyo Big Sight in parallel with FABEX 2025.