Closing Reports - Congress Conferences

28.11.2016: Markets and Marketing

Subject Global Trends and their Effect on Markets and Marketing
Date 28-11-16 Time 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Keynote-Speaker: Dr. Simone Kimpeler

Closing Report:


Such topics as wine-marketing trends, demographic change and regionality were the subject of the wine-marketing conference that the Deutscher Weinbauverband e.V. (DWV – German Wine­growers' Association) staged in cooperation with the Deutsche Weininstitut (DWI – German Wine Institute) and Forschungsring des Deutschen Weinbaus (FDW – German Winegrowers Research Ring).

At the ‘Markt und Marketing’ event, which was very well attended by around 100 national and international participants, Dr Simone Kimpeler of the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research opened the conference by addressing the complexity that is linked to forecasting future scenarios as well as the associated possibilities for recognising market opportunities.

This was followed by science-based explorations of significant trends with their effect on the wine industry, falling wine-consumption figures due to demographic changes, shifting values and varying customer behaviour; these explorations were always accompanied by examples of concrete action and approaches that would be required to counter them. Sigmar Gabriel, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy and Chairman of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD), succinctly outlined apparent and far-reaching changes and how dynamic they were in his reassessment of the global situation. The auditorium's great interaction underlined the relevance of such areas of activities as customer retention, emotions, brands, regionality, sustainability and emotionality. The event therefore provided valuable impulses for the real world, for the challenges of ever-increasing expec­tations, for satisfying a growing curiosity in consumers and for the tangible complexity that could be pro-actively explored with attractive offers in a highly competitive market. Prof. Dr Marc Dressler of the Dienstleistungszentrum ländlicher Raum (DLR) Rheinpfalz (Service Centre for Rural Development in Rhineland Palatinate) was the host and scientific head of the conference.


The programme can be found here!


28.11.2016: Viticulture

Subject Impact of Climate Change on Viticulture
Date 28-11-16 Time 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Keynote-Speaker: Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Klaus Töpfer

Closing Report:


The wine-growing section concentrated on the effects of climate change on viticulture and production. A total of 180 national and international visitors had travelled to Stuttgart to discover more about current topics and research results.

Prof. Dr Klaus Töpfer, former Federal Minister of the Environment, Executive Director of the United Nations' Environment Programme, Founding Director of the Institute for ‘Advanced Sustainability Studies’ provided the introduction to the conference.

In 2016, winegrowers were required to confront the various and previously unprecedented scale and consequences of climate change. Both Germany and many European wine-growing areas faced devastating heavy rain falls, local hail damage, spreading plant diseases, new pests and even a prolonged dry period before the wine harvest.

The speakers at the conference presented the different responses by winegrowers to climate change. Resistance breeding in root­stocks and vines, interaction between different wine-growing con­ditions and the quality of the wine as well as the use of copters and robots in the wine industry represented key topics.

Conference visitors were also able to discover new ideas at the machine presentations and the special ‘Drohnen und Robotik’ (‘Drones and Robotics’) show staged within the INTERVITIS INTERFRUCTA HORTITECHNICA 2016 trade fair.

Prof. Dr Hans Peter Schwarz and Prof. Dr Manfred Stoll, both from the Hochschule Geisenheim University, chaired the dis­cussions. The conference was organised by the DWV in con­junction with the Ausschuss für Technik im Weinbau (ATW – Committee for Technology in Wine-growing) and the Bund Deutscher Önologen (BDO – Alliance of German Oenologists)


The programme can be found here!


29.11.2016: Oenology

Subject Oenology – Future Challenges
Date 29-11-16 Time 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Keynote-Speaker: Prof. Dr. Monika Christmann

Closing Report:


The conference, which the DWV organised in conjunction with the FDW and the BDO, focused on innovative methods and technologies and on the challenges that oenology will face in the future. A total of 110 national and international experts and practitioners from the wine industry attended the conference.

In the title of her keynote speech, the President of the Inter­national Organisation of Vine and Wine - OIV, Prof. Dr Monika Christmann, addressed the conference title and within its context explored climate change, new legal situations and consumer protection. She explained that in her opinion it would be better both for the quality of the wine and its authenticity to employ new technological equipment and remove or convert substances rather than use additives.

The conference was also the venue for the presentation of viti­cultural and microbiological approaches to wine-growing that would counter alcohol contents that were increasing due to cli­mate change. Two methods were presented as physical conser­vation methods: The first used UV-C technology and was descri­bed as a simple and low-cost method for sterilising must and wine; the second utilised pressure-change technology that may be regarded as particularly interesting where the deactivation of laccase was concerned. Glutathione as a potential antioxidant that had, however, not yet been approved by the EU was broached as a controversial subject because, on the one hand, it promotes varietal thiols but also the tripeptides that occur naturally in grapes, which, however, may result in sulphide off-flavours and highly coloured wines. One of the topical subjects was the transition of flavouring substances, for instance, from wine-containing drinks, through seals in oenological equipment, particularly filling systems. The greater incidence of petrol notes, which expresses itself variously in wines when different closures are used, was also attributed to climate change.


The programme can be found here!


29.11.2016: Wine, Tourism and Architecture

Subject Wineries turning into Service Providers and Profit Centers
Date 29-11-16 Time 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Keynote-Speaker: Prof. Peter Wippermann

Closing Report:


The DWV organised this conference with around 100 participants in cooperation with the Staatliche Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt für Wein- und Obstbau in Weinsberg (LVWO – National Training and Research Institute for Viticulture and Horticulture) and the Bayerische Landesanstalt für Weinbau und Gartenbau in Veits­höchheim (LWG – Bavarian State Institute for Viticulture and Horticulture). The conference was scientifically headed by Dr Her­mann Kolesch (LWG) and Friedrich Lörcher (LVWO).

In his keynote presentation, Professor Peter Wippermann, who researches trends, discussed the characteristics of a fast-moving society and explained how all areas of life have now been digitised – including food. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – photos of food and edible products are everywhere. The speaker said that there was a reason for this: “The phase of fast and junk food is now being followed by an appreciation of good food.”

Previously, for example, there was a demand for abundant meat, convenience was important and meals had to be substantial. But present trends were moving in the opposite direction and young people had started to shop at weekly markets and choose their own fruit and vegetables and they wanted to know where their food has come from. There was now a name for people who have become passionate about this lifestyle: ‘Foodies’. “These are the people who are concerned about food but at the same time enjoy it and who regard a meal with others as an opportunity to stay in touch,” said Wippermann. But doing without was not what it was all about. The emphasis was rather on a conscious awareness of nutrition, food and community, which was one reason why we're constantly taking photographs of our food and posting them on social networks, said Peter Wippermann. “Eating together has always been hugely important to people. But, because we're not often able to cook and dine together, we've started to share the good food that we are enjoying through social media.” The wine industry has, however, not yet positioned itself in regard to this target group, he concluded.

Another important topic at the conference was vineyard tours. The Meintzinger Vineyard and Hotel (Franken) and the Longen-Schlöder (Mosel) Vineyard, for instance, are enjoying success by serving wine and providing services of the highest quality in an extraordinary architectural setting. The Austrian architect, Markus Spitzbart, explored examples of creative vineyards offering wining and dining experiences. He emphasised the importance of the conceptional planning of projects and revealed how well a brand was able to establish itself and increase sales through good architecture.

Petra Mayer of PM Kommunikation presented The Spice Route in Paarl (South Africa) as a sensory experience for modern pleasure seekers. She said that it had, for instance, been possible to turn a quiet wine farm into a Spice Route Destination within just a short period. Partners who are enthusiastic, precise and passionate about their work were involved. They supplied wines, beers, chocolate, coffee, spirits and much more. With all the products being crafted in local production facilities. Two guides from Fran­ken and Württemberg, Martha Gehring and Regine Sommerfeld, who worked for the Weinerlebnis (Wine Experience) organisation, enthusiastically presented their activities and used a series of ex­amples to set out how important cooperation with vineyards was.

Professor Dreyer of Harz University and Dr Szolnoki of Geisen­heim University presented scientific findings. “Besides architecture, the organisation of serving and tasting played a central role in the sale of wines while service quality was also decisive to achieving good results,” explained Professor Dreyer. Dr. Szolnoki set out where the Rheingau region stood as a destination for wine tourists and where it could be improved as such.


The programme can be found here!


30.11.2016: Microbiology and Analytics

Subject Microbiology and Analytics in Times of Changing Requirements
Date 30-11-16 Time 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Keynote-Speaker: Dr. Corinna Dawid

Closing Report:


A total of 110 international experts were interested in finding out how the wine industry is facing up to the challenges that climate change presents in the field of wine analysis and microbiology. It was explained in a plenary presentation that it was now possible to understand almost any variation in the taste of red wine using only 35 primary substances and that this also allowed the sensory aspects of wines to be predicted. Analysis enabled the authenticity and genuineness of wines to be verified. It allowed impermissible adulteration and the addition of flavourings to wine to be reliably determined. The presentations also focused particularly on con­trolled fermentation in wines. New types of yeast in addition to traditional ones were now also being used to enhance the sensory diversity of the product because they released odourless flavou­ring precursors that produced pleasantly fragrant, flowery and fruity flavourings. A different strategy used yeasts to eliminate the original substances that caused defects in wines and so prevent the later occurrence of undesirable notes during maturing in woo­den casks. Other yeast strains were able to increase acidity and so enhance the taste and improve the stability of wines. Additional presentations also explained how lactobacilli are able to reduce the impression of acidity while having a beneficial effect on the overall bouquet. New procedures for killing harmful organisms in wine casks and methods for eradicating tough off-flavours were also presented.

The symposium impressively revealed how microbiology and analyses complement each other not only in the production of more diverse and better wines but also in improving the reliability of the wine-making process.

This conference was organised by the DWV in conjunction with the Ausschuss für Technik im Weinbau (ATW – Committee for Technology in Wine-growing) and the Bund Deutscher Önologen (BDO – Alliance of German Oenologists). It was scientifically headed by Prof. Dr Helmut Dietrich, Geisenheim University, and Prof. Dr Ulrich Fischer, Dienstleistungszentrum Ländlicher Raum (DLR) Rheinpfalz.

The programme can be found here!


30.11.2016: Organic Viticulture

Subject Aspects of the Future Organic Viticulture
Date 30-11-16 Time 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Keynote-Speaker: Dr. Felix Prinz zu Löwenstein

Closing Report:


The German Winegrowers' Association and the Bundesverband Ökologischer Weinbau (ECOVIN – Federal Association of Organic Wine Producers in Germany) had invited visitors to the organic wine-growing conference staged within the framework of the 62nd German Winegrowers' Congress under the motto of: ‘Zukunft authentisch und innovativ gestalten – Klimawandel und Globali­sierung meistern’ (‘Shaping an authentic and innovative future – mastering climate change and globalisation’). Around 80 partici­pants attended the conference to discover more about current questions and developments in organic wine-growing. The expert conference was scientifically headed by Prof. Dr Randolf Kauer (Geisenheim University) and Ralph Dejas (ECOVIN).

It was revealed that interest in ecological wine-growing had in­creased significantly in recent years. The area taken up by orga­nically certified vineyards currently totalled around 8,000 hectares in Germany. By focusing on ‘Globalisierung und Landwirtschaft’ (‘Globalisation and Agriculture’), Dr Felix Prinz zu Löwenstein, Chairman of the Bund Ökologischer Lebensmittelwirtschaft (BÖLW – Ecological Food Industry Alliance) provided an intro­duction to the issues that the congress would be concentrating on. In his comprehensive exploration of the most urgent problems of our time, he touched upon such topics as climate change, bio­diversity, pollution in drinking water, nutrition and health. Ecolo­gical agriculture and particularly ecological wine-growing could help solve problems on a lasting basis. Löwenstein presented valuable impulses in this regard.

The Organic Wine Conference covered a broad and encom­passing field and tackled questions of cultivation and processing as well as the business and marketing of organically produced wines. Several presentations explored how switching to bio-orga­nic and bio-dynamic wine-growing affects the vine and the quality of the grapes. Extensive findings from a 10-year longitudinal study that compared integrated methods of working and bio-organic and bio-dynamic methods of working in Germany and which was broadened by a contribution from Trento in Italy revealed that switching does initially cause a reduction in yields but that grape quality benefits from the improved structure of leaf coverage. Reduced pressure from botrytis and less acetic acid rot were one result – other but still limited effects may also be possibly achieved through the use of bicarbonates and water glass.

Soil cultivation is also facing new challenges as a result of climate change – both in between rows and in undergrowth areas. Initial studies into microbial biodiversity (fungi and bacteria) in vineyards that were cultivated using different methods produced exciting insights into changes in the fauna in soil that had been bio-organically and bio-dynamically cultivated over many years.

The topical issue of pest management in 2016 was also addressed, particularly in view of climate change and its effects on strategies designed to protect vines that are limited due to the restriction of the use of copper. The unavailability of agents con­taining phosphanate to protect and strengthen plants represented an example of the problems that the industry faced particularly this year.

Hermann Hohl, President of the Wine-growing Association in Württemberg, emphasised in this regard that the efforts to list phosphonates that had been approved by 2013 were being speeded up at political levels. At the initiative of Peter Hauk, the Minister for Agriculture in Baden-Württemberg, an intensive exchange of ideas with the DWV and representatives of ECOVIN along with colleagues from Austria, Luxembourg and the Czech Republic took place in Brussels in November and ended with the intention to hold a conference in January 2017. This conference is to be exclusively dedicated to the topic of phosphonates.

Fungus’ resistant grape varieties represent the clearest answer to these questions, which is why two more presentations focused on the experiences gained with new fungus’ resistant vines while concentrating on their growth, vulnerability and their contribution to sustained wine-growing in future systems of cultivation.

The conference was concluded with a highlight: The presentation of the International PIWI Wine Award by Peter Hauk, Minister of Agriculture in Baden-Württemberg, and Lena Endesfelder, Ger­man Wine Queen. They emphasised the huge opportunities that the cultivation of PIWIs offered. More than 300 wines from 14 countries, from Italy to Denmark, revealed the high performance levels that the submitted wines had achieved. 15 x Grand Gold, 105 x Gold and 124 Silver Medals were awarded.


The programme can be found here!