2022 is a special year for the Austrian wine fair VieVinum. The drop in visitors was clearly noticeable at the first edition of the tradeshow since the outbreak of the Corona pandemic. Yet on the upside, significantly more international guests came. More than 1,000 trade visitors from over 50 countries had been invited by the Austrian Wine Marketing Board (Österreich Wein Marketing).
The decrease in visitors made for a more professional and relaxed atmosphere. And this focus on trade visitors was in fact the declared goal of the organizers.
The joy of the first VieVinum since 2018 was also noticeable among the exhibitors. 480 wineries presented themselves to the public from May 21 to 23 at the Vienna Hofburg. The customary focus of the fair lies on Austria, but it also featured some exhibitors from other wine regions, in particular Alto Adige and Sicily who were invited as special guests.
As at many of the other fairs finally resuming after a long period of Zoom conferences and video tastings, the priority was to be meeting in person again. Austria's Secretary of State for Tourism, Susanne Kraus-Winkler, referred to this in her opening remarks, emphasizing the importance of personal contacts with such an emotionally loaded topic as wine.
In addition, she equally highlighted the economic significance of VieVinum to the tourism sector.
The fair also offered an extensive supporting program of seminars and events, with topics ranging from origins, grape varieties and styles of wine to biodynamics and vineyard classifications. The two guest regions, Alto Adige and Sicily, offered guided tastings of their indigenous grape varieties.
"We had to wait four long years - but it was worth the wait," says Chris Yorke, Austrian Wine Marketing Board (AWMB) CEO in a press release.
"Our winemakers were able to present themselves perfectly, and our international partners were enthusiastic about the wines, the ambience and the organization of the fair. I would therefore like to express my sincere thanks to all those who made this wonderful family festival of Austrian wine possible", Yorke stated.