Grapevine Archive for Moldova

Thu 17 Mar 2016

Looking East at the Prowein Fair

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Prowein, the three-day wine fair, held in Düsseldorf annually in March, has become an invaluable meeting place of wine producers and buyers from all over the world.

This year Marcel Orford-Williams takes back the Society’s German wine buying, but I could not resist spending a morning with him and producers I had introduced in the last five years and looking at the wonderfully promising 2015 vintage wines with several growers we have both known over many years.

Where else can one meet in one well-organised place so many producers from every German wine-producing region, catch up with their news and taste so many of their wines to make a selection?

I was there principally, however, to talk to growers from further east: Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Moldova, Romania and beyond.

Beautiful vineyards on the Greek island of Samos

Beautiful vineyards on the Greek island of Samos

While there is no substitute for visiting producers on their home patch (my first visit to Georgia last year was an education) this fair is a fantastic way to narrow the field and find growers whose wines will appeal to Wine Society members, while saving money on travel expenses.

The Turks have been hard hit by a massive drop in tourism, following bombs in Istanbul and hostility with Russia but, in spite of unhelpful politics and a predominantly teetotal population, people are making inspiring wines of character and high quality. Vinkara’s Öküzgözü (£7.75) is just one example. My wife and I visited New York and Washington shortly after 9/11 in a half-empty plane to a warm welcome from American friends. This is surely an excellent time to visit Turkey.

Our Greek suppliers, a dynamic motivated group, mostly youthful, who export most of what they make are similarly inspiring making great, original wines.

We began last year to import from Moldova. Château Vartely makes some lovely wines, wants and needs to sell to us, so offers good prices.

What is not to like?

Let us give these movers and shakers, who rise above difficult times, our support.

Sebastian Payne MW
Society Buyer

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