The future of the wine industry

The 62nd German Winegrowers’ Congress from 27 to 30 November in Stuttgart presents current issues of the wine industry under the guiding theme “An authentic and innovative approach to the future – Tackling climate change and globalisation”. The event boasts high-ranking speakers such as trend researcher Prof. Peter Wippermann and Prof. Dr. Luigi Moio, President of the Enology Commission of the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV). Together with experts they will discuss the current and future challenges of the practice and present solutions from research and science. The congress coincides with INTERVITIS INTERFRUCTA HORTITECHNICA, the international technology trade fair for wine, juice and special crops. There after the congress the participants can combine the knowledge they have acquired directly with the practical element. For example, in the tasting zone “Taste the technology” or at the machine demonstrations.

Market and marketing, winegrowing, enology, tourism and architecture, ecological viticulture, as well as microbiology and analytics: These are the focal points of the 62nd German Winegrowers’ Congress. On a total of six half-days of seminars and presentations, academics, industry representatives and interested users have the opportunity to equip themselves for the future challenges of the industry. Together with numerous partner organisations and under the patronage of the OIV, the German Winegrowers’ Association (DWV) offers a platform for the exchange of information and ideas between academia, industry and the wine industry.

Mega trends such as sustainability and regionality are affecting consumers’ behaviour. For instance, there is an increasing focus on the origin and manufacturing method of the products. Dr. Simone Kimpeler from the Fraunhofer Institute for System and Innovation Research, explains what this means for winegrowers in her keynote speech “Global trends and their effects on markets and marketing” on 28 November. She also presents strategies and recommendations on how producers and marketers can respond to these trends. In addition, the congress experts discuss the electronic wine trade, the effects of the demographic change, as well as the topic of regionality.

The trend researcher Prof. Wippermann discusses future consumer behaviour in his presentation “”Came to stay – New impulses for the future gastronomy culture” (on 29 November). At the same time he explains how the wine industry can respond to the associated changes. The congress focuses, for example, on overall concepts of wine estates, which can conquer and integrate new target groups by expanding the gastronomy offer or entering the hotel business. More best practice examples are also presented during the half-day presentations and seminars. Other elements of the programme include the newly constructed wine experience centre La Cité des Civilisation du Vin from Bordeaux and the culinary tourism concept “The Spice Route” from Stellenbosch, South Africa.

The enology congress provides a comprehensive overview of the latest findings in research. The presentations focus on the influence of climate change and globalisation on enology. A versatile and comprehensive mixture of topics is also addressed: From alcohol management to aroma migration through to pressure change technology and petrol note. Representatives from well-known research and education centres – including from Adelaide, Bernkastel, Geisenheim, Laimburg, Naples, Neustadt, Stuttgart and Veitshöchheim – will present their know-how and expertise. The congress also boasts a very special keynote speaker: Prof. Dr. Luigi Moio from Naples, a world-famous enologist and President of the Enology Commission of the OIV, will speak at the opening ceremony.

The 62nd German Winegrowers’ Congress also focuses on organic and conventional winegrowing, as well as microbiology and analytics. Prof. Dr. Klaus Töpfer, former Minister for the Environment and long-standing Director of the UN Environmental Programme UNEP, talks about the influence of climate change on the cultivation of wine within the framework of the winegrowers’ congress n 28 November. On 30 November Prof. Dr. Thomas Hofmann, Professor in Food Chemistry and Molecular Sensor Technology, addresses the deciphering of chemical scent and taste signatures of red wine in his presentation on microbiology and analytics. In light of the more and more frequent dry periods, the series of talks on “Ecological viticulture” deals in particular with vegetation and water supply, also on 30 November. Dr. Felix Prinz zu Löwenstein, President of the Organic Food Production Alliance, examines the connection between globalisation and agriculture.

Following the presentations in the morning the congress participants can look forward to the tasting zone of the coinciding INTERVITIS INTERFRUCTA HORTITECHNICA, where they have the opportunity to “taste” the theory. There are 250 different wines available to sample there. On guided tasting tours the participants have the chance to test the products which have been produced using the processes presented in the congress. The tasting tours take place twice daily, at 11:00 and 15:00 respectively. Interested individuals can register directly on site. Trade fair and congress guests can of course also visit the tasting zone at any time during the trade fair opening times and sample the numerous wines themselves. The admission fee is 10 Euro. The tasting zone is organised by the DWV in cooperation with all German education, testing and research institutes.

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