Congratulations on this anniversary!

The international wine world has been meeting in Germany for 30 years - at ProWein. The winegrowers of the VDP would like to take this opportunity to send their best wishes and to reflect on the past. What has been particularly memorable in these 30 years?



The many facets of the VDP's trade fair participation during 30 years of ProWein illustrate the development of the "German Wine Miracle", from stand construction to the number of members to the special tastings.

A throwback.

Participants and booth size

In 1997, the first year of the VDP's participation, a 12 square meter system booth was booked for a trial, where the VDP management handed out a few brochures and offered a few wines. A picture no longer imaginable today (and probably no longer a successful concept). 

Members' interest in participating in the trade fair grew rapidly (1998 - 40 VDP.estates; 1999 - 80 VDP.estates), so that by 2000, almost 100 members were presenting the association in a concentrated form, including the members of the then "exotic" German Barrique Forum. In 2014, participation peaked in terms of numbers with 141 members on an area of 1,300 square meters. After the coronavirus lockdown and due to the newly discovered sales and communication channels, participation stabilized at around 100 wineries – a proud number, half of the association. The large booth on the taupe-blue carpet of the VDP.members continues to attract numerous visitors from all over the world and so we can happily look back on aisles full of people in our ranks year after year.



The initial stand could quickly no longer cope with the amount of demand and interest. Something new was needed.

The stands that followed in the following years each reflected the corporate identity development of the VDP over the last three decades.  
In the beginning, the VDP.winegrowers opted for dark green - analogous to their brochure & claim "What matters", which is still appreciated today.  
In 2010, the red carpet was rolled out to mark "100 years of the VDP". Plain gray trade fair stands were enhanced by the portraits of all members, which were published in the coffee-table book "Germany's Wine Elite", making the stand very personal and approachable.  
With the change of the external appearance in 2014, the VDP switched to the striking turquoise color. Banner suspensions enabled a completely transparent stand design that allowed visitors to see through all the stands without any visual barriers. To this day, guests and members appreciate the good " overview" at the VDP stand - in classy taupe blue since 2023.


The exclusive partners of the VDP, Zwiesel Kristallglas (since 2002) and Gerolsteiner Mineralbrunnen (since 2008), have long been involved in Düsseldorf. Germany's sommelier training institutes (Gastronomisches Bildungszentrum, Deutsche Sommelierunion, International Wine Institute, IHK Akademie München and many more) have joined them one after the other, once again emphasizing the important support of the training institutes and the next generation.

One other thing was certainly never neglected: culinary delights and catering at the VDP.stand. Firstly, to provide members and guests with good food and drinks and, of course, to focus on the pairing of wine & food, chocolate and much more. Partners such as Van Nahmen and Schell can also look back on decades at the stand.

Special samples – Discussions

The VDP stand increasingly developed into a communication and tasting platform for current topics at the time. A review in the context of the respective year is interesting; and shows that many topics are timeless.


  • 1999: A special tasting asked: "Matured wines - top or flop?"

  • 2000: "Red wines - classic, but rare!" was established.

  • 2001: "The language of the soil" was already on the agenda; one year before the introduction of the VDP.classification.

  • 2003: the then editor-in-chief of Sommelier Magazin, Julia Klöckner, presented "The newcomers and their best - VDP.newcomers of the new millennium"
    It is exciting to see which "newcomers" were involved at that time: Wittmann, Keller (Rheinhessen), Nik Weis St. Urbanshof, Grans-Fassian (Mosel), am Stein (Franconia), Pawis (Saale-Unstrut), Friedrich Becker & Münzberg (Palatinate).

  • 2005: The title "Rare, noble and not just sweet" testifies to the fact that dry wines are increasingly being recognized as having maturity potential.

  • 2006: With the focus on "Breeding & Order: How spontaneous should Riesling be today", the industry was made aware of a then still recent development.
    The future of the German wine trade was also addressed with the question: "How can successful wine merchants swim against the cheap trend of the discounters and the 'stinginess is cool' mentality?".

  • 2007: was dominated by hot topics, then as now: The human factor - how much flexibility is left for the winegrower / terroir under the aspect of climate change / biodynamic viticulture as the key to terroir.

  • 2008: And again and again, the focus is on classification. "Phoenix from the ashes - The ERSTEN LAGEN between the Rhine and 1000 hills (Rheinhessen's GROSSE GEWÄCHSE) or "Has the Gordian knot been untied?" on the subject of vineyard classification.

  • 2015: Dr. Daniel Deckers took a close look at the history of vineyard classification with " Vineyards of world renown". 

  • 2017: "Two countries, one path - the classification of the best vineyard sites in Germany and Austria", which explored the idea of a common classification of origin in German-speaking countries.

  • In 2018, the VDP presented the VDP.Digital.Lounge, where trade fair visitors were able to experience the world's first digital vineyard map: VDP.Weinberg.Online

  • 2019: With the tasting " Good from the bottom up | VDP.GUTSWEINE - the business card of the VDP.estates", the thematic focus shifted to the entry-level range, which can already show great elegance and origin character. 

  • In 2023, the VDP.estates presented extensive lectures and samples over three days in their forum on the dialog "Origin - Future - Sustainability" and once again set a milestone in the trade fair event.

VDP in celebration mood

The VDP also contributed to the development of ProWein goes City for several years (2008 onwards) with the legendary Wine & Dine Party in the three Monkey's locations. In 2016, VDP and Otto Gourmet hosted Wine.Meats.Düsseldorf in the unique ambience of Hase & Igel. And sometimes it used to be ProBier after ProWein at the trade fair stand.


Düsseldorf Trade Fair

None of this documents the challenges that the Düsseldorf trade fair brought with it for what is still the largest trade fair in the Düsseldorf trade fair calendar in terms of exhibitors. Digital systems for the wine and exhibitor diversity had to be redesigned. Those responsible were nearly driven crazy by the parking requests (certainly not only) of the VDP.estates, who would have preferred to drive directly into their hall. Glass and ice service, bottle disposal. Everything runs smoothly - and there is always an open ear for ideas for further development.  

In terms of content, the ProWein Forum also promoted the exchange of ideas on many current topics in the international wine world. Above all, however, ProWein has succeeded in attracting exciting visitors from all over the world to Düsseldorf year after year. This is also the reason why the VDP has remained loyal to the trade fair for over three decades.