Two exhibition halls exclusively for the wine industry

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For the first time, SIMEI, the world´s leading exhibition for wine technology, will be held in Munich from September 11 to 15 within the context of drinktec, the world’s leading trade fair for the beverage and liquid food industry. On a designated “SIMEI@drinktec” exhibition space in halls C2 and C3, leading manufacturers will present all kinds of machinery and equipment for winemaking and wine processing and packaging solutions on 20,000 square meters of space. As a result, the world’s leading trade fair drinktec, which aims to cover all beverage areas, will also be “the place to be” for the international wine industry.

With the cooperation of SIMEI, exhibition space at drinktec is increasing to more than 150,000 square meters. As a result, SIMEI rounds out the range of drinktec with specific solutions exclusively for the wine industry. Large wineries, which mainly depend on exports, as well as small wine growers, who are more likely to produce for regional demand, will find what they are looking for at SIMEI@drinktec.

drinktec also had technologies for the wine industry in its offer in the past, “but this rather concerned filling and packaging technologies on a large scale. Technology that was designed for large volumes, but also for the wine industry among others,” Petra Westphal said, Project Group Leader responsible for drinktec 2017. “SIMEI is the perfect complement to our existing range of offers. We have more than 500 exhibitors with it, whose offering is completely or at least partially aimed at the wine industry.”

The cooperation of the SIMEI also contributes to the fact that by far the largest visitor growth of recent years has come from the field of wine, champagne and spirits. In 2013, this segment already amounted to 16 percent of the visitors to drinktec, which translates in numbers to more than 10,000: an increase of 83 percent compared to 2009. “And we are certain to increase the proportion of visitors from the wine industry significantly thanks to SIMEI,” Ms. Westphal added. This is especially so, because wine producers from around the world have the opportunity at drinktec to look outside the box and inform themselves about innovations from other sectors such as the beer and spirits industries. The extensive supporting program on the subject of wine provides further added value for wine producers, among other things with the SIMEI Knowledge & Innovation Area as well as the SIMEI Sensory Bar. The exhibitors at SIMEI@drinktec can also look forward to international visitors from more than 180 countries. It provides you with the opportunity to tap new markets and make valuable new contacts. “A classic win-win situation for all parties involved,” according to Ms. Westphal.

At the parallel event PRO FachHANDEL, wine producers can meet competent partners for all topics related to trade and specialist dealers. Vegetable and animal oils and fats are the focus at the highly specialized trade fair oils+fats. One of many interesting topics deals with the processing technologies of olive oils. PRO FachHANDEL and oils+fats will be held in halls B0 and C1 directly adjacent to the SIMEI@drinktec halls C2 and C3.

Richard Clemens, Managing Director of VDMA Food Processing and Packaging Machinery, sees only winners in the collaboration between SIMEI and drinktec: “drinktec exhibitors get additional visitor potential from the strong wine countries in Europe and overseas. On the other hand, the collaboration provides visitors from the wine segment with clear added value thanks to the great range of offers.” Dr. Jörg Möller, Managing Director at Erbslöh Geisenheim AG and an expert in both worlds, also expressly welcomed the collaboration: “drinktec has always been a preferred and popular platform for us—as an international manufacturer of beverage treatment products—for presenting our new products in the beer and fruit processing industries. Together with SIMEI, it is even a more interesting platform for us. For the first time, we have the opportunity to meet our customers from all business sectors, including the wine sector, at the same time for exchanging information and presenting our latest innovations.”

High expectations for wine producers from all over the world
The combination drinktec/SIMEI is already generating high expectations among wine producers from all over the world. “The collaboration provides us wine producers with the unique opportunity to meet suppliers from all over the world in one place at the same time and obtain information about technologies and innovations,” explained Fernando Vaquer from the Zuccardi winery in Argentina. “We will have the opportunity to compare technological solutions from different sectors, which could take wine processing to a completely new level.” Diana Muntenau, Marketing Director of Maurt, one of the biggest wine producers in Moldova, is of a similar opinion: “SIMEI@drinktec provides an overview of the current state of wine technology in just a few days. In addition, you can exchange experiences with other winemakers from the whole world there.” Edegar Scortegagna, President of the Brazilian Wine Trade Association, also expects a great deal from the combination of SIMEI and drinktec: “SIMEI is unique because it is possible to get together with other wine producers from all over the world and exchange ideas and thoughts. I expect even more from SIMEI@drinktec, especially with regard to new technologies and innovations, not only in the wine sector, but also for other beverages that we produce.” Sergio Dagnino from Caviro’s agricultural cooperative in Italy sees “the opportunity [for wine producers] to experience two major trade fairs at the same time. Not being there would mean missing a great opportunity.”

Alcohol management in focus
However, what are the technological trends, and about what will the specialists at SIMEI@drinktec provide information? “Among other things, I think they will look for ways to produce wines with less alcohol,” Prof. Monika Christmann, Head of the Institute of Oenology at Geisenheim University, predicted. The background: wine drinkers feel the effects of climate change on their tongues and in their heads. Even white wines such as German Riesling increasingly contain more alcohol, but less acid and complex aroma components. This is not even to mention red wines with alcohol contents that were formerly only suspected in strong dessert wines. Sparkling wine production is also being increasingly affected: If the base wine already has 14 percent, then the finished sparkling wine has 15 or 16 percent alcohol after the second fermentation. This is clearly too much for an increasing number of consumers. Globally, winemakers are reacting to consumers’ desire for less alcohol with corresponding cellar technology. They either separate sugar from the must before fermentation or remove alcohol from the finished wine. “There are relatively new membrane processes for reducing sugar in must that are approved for use in Germany,” Prof. Christmann explained. Tried and tested membrane or thermal processes are available for the separation of alcohol after fermentation. With one restriction: “In Germany, a reduction of the existing alcohol is only possible up to 20 percent. Only then can the original wine still be marketed as a wine,” Prof. Christmann said. An alternative is alcohol-free wine or sparkling wine, which is currently gaining in importance as is alcohol-free beer. Winemakers can also decide to produce beverages mixed with wine, which are also becoming more popular thanks to the reduced alcohol content.

Alternatives are being sought for proven applications
This selective management of unwanted “too many or too few” substances will be reflected at SIMEI@drinktec, but not only with respect to alcohol. Today, it is possible to separate acids and even individual ions from wine selectively with membrane processes. A further example in this context is represented by trichloroanisole and tribromanisole, which are responsible for the unwanted cork taint. Filter layers have been developed in the meantime, with which these components can be selectively removed. Another hot potato in winemaking is the search for alternatives for very proven applications. For example, sulfur is no longer permitted for tank sterilization. Animal classics such as gelatin, isinglass and casein glue are also being subject to bench tests. The global trend towards vegan nutrition is behind this. However, corresponding vegan alternatives will also be shown at drinktec 2017.

Trend to packaging diversity continues
Keyword packaging: In the search for optimal closure of a wine bottle, it is no longer just a question of whether cork, plastic, glass, crown cork or screw cap. But instead – one as well as the other. The trend towards diversity according to the purpose is continuing in packaging. The “bag-in-box” has already become widespread and is becoming increasingly popular. Wine is now also bottled in PET bottles. PET bottles are being tested for airlines, among other places. Weight savings compared to glass bottles play a major role there.

The end of the spirits monopoly reshuffles the deck

And what is currently happening in the field of spirits? In Germany, small distillers are certainly paying close attention to the expiry of the spirits monopoly in the drinktec year. The reason is that they can only supply a quota of alcohol to the German Alcohol Monopoly until the end of 2017, alcohol which is then subsequently exploited as industrial alcohol. They can do this at a guaranteed price, which is above the global market level. This is a secure and reliable source of revenue. Starting from 2018, these quantities will have to be sold on the open market. This means first of all: The quality of the products must be high. And secondly: In most cases, it is important to develop a functioning self-marketing system. drinktec has just the right thing for visitors in this context, because it is not only technology platform, but also a marketing one. (cf.