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DWI Managing Director Monika Reule paid tribute to the commitment of the award-winning retailers for wines from Germany at the awards ceremony at Prowein in Düsseldorf. She also emphasized the important role played by the specialist retailers in the German wine market, whose professional advice strongly promotes the marketing of high-quality domestic wines: "In 2016, the specialist retailers sold three percent more German wines against the trend and thus achieved a sales increase of nine percent," explained Reule.

In the competition, the DWI jury placed particular emphasis on expert advice from qualified personnel. Other evaluation criteria included the appealing and clear presentation of the wines, which should include different grape varieties and come from as many regions as possible. "In unannounced visits, the award-winning specialist retailers met these requirements in an exemplary manner," praised the Wine Institute.

"20 years ago, Sigrid and Jochen Schmidt, with a great deal of pioneering spirit, opened a specialist wine shop in Gebesee, Thuringia. Since then, they have been contributing with great commitment and growing success to the promotion of wine culture in Thuringia. Weinhof Schmidt inspires people with its special flair, a shopping experience and its own vineyard for German wines," was the jury's verdict on the competition winner.

The second-placed wine shop and bar "Mauerwinzer" was praised by the jury for offering exclusively German wines from all growing regions directly on the former Berlin Wall strip. In a modern and elegant atmosphere, a specialty shop is combined with a wine bar - competent advice included.

With the St. Pauli wine shop, the jury this year honoured a specialist retail concept that conveys a contemporary, uncomplicated wine culture for an urban public under the motto "wine without dress code". The predominantly local wines are "creatively and trendy staged with an extraordinary number of winegrowing and wine events".

In addition to trophies, certificates and plaques, the three winners of the specialist trade prize will receive valuable merchandise vouchers from the competition sponsors "Schott Zwiesel" and "Howasped" as well as vouchers for DWI staff training courses worth 6,000 euros. They will also be appointed to the jury for the election of the German Wine Queen 2017 in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse. (uka)

(Photo: German Wine Institute)