By 2035, according to some economists, average incomes in Poland could overtake those of the UK. Whether or not this will happen over the next 12 years, there is no question that wine producers who once believed Great Britain - home of the WSET and Masters of Wine - to be their key export target are now paying far more attention to the former member of the Warsaw Pact.
Clear evidence of this was offered in Warsaw itself last week, at a two-day event called the Warsaw Wine Experience. Located in the Nobu hotel, in the heart of the city, the event attracted trade and public who were there to sample a range of imported wines and, for many, to enjoy the novelty of tasting and comparing a selection of increasingly-impressive locally-produced wines and attending a series of masterclasses.
The organisers report the participation of 45 exhibitors from 12 countries and the attendance of 600 guests.
Among the visiting producers were Shabo from Ukraine - which was also represented by Iryna Diachenkova of the Wine Travel Awards - Lenz Moser with examples of his Austrian and his Chinese wines, and former Meininger Verlag editor Richard Grosche who is now heading up the Geheimrat J. Wegeler winery in Oestrich-Winkel.
"Ever since I first came here in in 2015, I‘ve seen an unstoppable evolution of the Polish wine and food community.”
Grosche was very enthusiastic about the Experience and the Polish market. “Ever since I first came here in in 2015, I‘ve seen an unstoppable evolution of the Polish wine and food community”, he said, continuing that “Warsaw has to be on the level of many top worldwide destinations. I mean the opening of a Nobu hotel is a pretty good indicator. Just look at the other Nobu locations.”
For Grosche, the Warsaw Wine Experience is “a great showcase of what is available from the best importers and distributors. They manage to host excellent master classes and create great interest in the world of fine wine and they don’t just accept good labels with poor wines. They are choosy about what they allow to be served.”
The people behind
The ‘they’ he is referring to are the team behind Ferment magazine and Winicjatywa.pl, including regular Mundus Vini judge, Tomasz Prange-Barczyński and Wojciech Bońkowski, a recent addition to the ranks of the Masters of Wine.
Their enthusiasm, along with that of exhibitors like Grosche and Moser suggest that this event will become an increasingly important date on the international calendar, competing for attention with those in the UK and elsewhere.