On the Road with Dombeya

by Grant Dodd, March 23 2010

On the Road with Dombeya- Prowein 2010- Shaming the Neanderthals

Even allowing for the renowned penchant for frankness of the Germans, this was going a bit far. I know that I'm Australian and that we come with a small amount of baggage and a larger amount of preconception, but...more on this later.

I'm in Dusseldorf, Germany, for the 2010 edition of Prowein, the huge wine fair held annually here where the wine trade get together and see who wants to buy what from whom.

It is a big haul to get here from Australia. The trip starts with an hour and a half on the train to Brisbane airport, then eight hours to Singapore, a four hour wait, twelve hours to Frankfurt, then a two hour wait, then a forty minute flight to Dusseldorf. Then I jumped on the train to head to my hotel, and that's where all the fun started.

No problem making it into Dusseldorf central, but given my dearth of German, finding the way to my hotel via the underground was proving a little challenging. So, I approached a couple of young lads for some directions.

Easy, they replied, you just jump on this train here and you'll be there in four stops. Wow! So easy, so efficient, and the people are so friendly. You have to love Germany. The only problem was that four stops later I realise that I am on my way to France, and that the hotel I am booked into is exactly the opposite direction. Not sure what they call it in German, but I believe the current term is 'getting punked' !

Eventually I made it to the right track, and got onto the right train. Twenty minutes later I am one stop short of Mettmann, my destination, when the sign above my head starts flashing, and we pull into Neanderthal station. Just one of those moments in time, I guess, when opportunity and circumstance meet. I looked around to see if there was a Springbok back row forward in the vicinity, but alas, it was just me.

The show starts tomorrow, so we're looking forward to meeting lots of people and hopefully finding distribution in a few key markets that we are yet to cover. More on Prowein during the week.

Click here to go to Dombeya Wines website.