Wine time: London Wine Fair is back

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May marks the return of London Wine Fair, which is back with refreshed content for 2019

Now in its 39th year, London Wine Fair is the unmissable, annual event for wine enthusiasts and drinks industry professionals. Taking place between 20 and 22 May at Olympia London, the show presents an stimulating arena for producers from all around the world to showcase innovation, new launches and old favourites. Last year’s show welcomed more than 14,000 visitors – 30% of which were from the on-trade, there to revamp lists, discover the latest trends and do business. For 2019, the event will build on this success with a series of new initiatives and enhanced feature areas, as well as refreshed content across its programme of industry briefings and masterclasses.

‘Drinks Britannia’, a stand-alone section of the show dedicated to celebrating the best of British-made drinks, spanning the wine, spirits, beer, cider and soft drinks categories, is back for a second year. Attendees can catch up with The Garden Shed Drinks Company, Fisher’s Gin, Islay Gin, Ginking and organic beer producer Stroud Brewery, in company with many more new and established brands. Food & Drinks Wales is set within this space, and will explore the best of Welsh craft, presenting wines from White Castle and Montgomery Vineyard, as well as a selection of spirits from Aber Falls, Dyfi, Da Mhile and Hensol Castle Distillery.

Those looking for niche producers can head to the newly-enhanced “show within a show”: Esoterica. Hampshire sparkling wine Black Chalk, which made its debut at last year’s event, will showcase Wild Rose, its second, 2016 vintage of pink wine, while Kent-based Simpsons’ Wine Estate will be presenting four new still English wines, poured alongside its Chalklands Classic Cuvée 2016 and two wines from Domaine Sainte Rose.

The Innovation Zone, which also launched in 2018, will return with new exhibitors and content from the world of design, smart technology and social media, with TED-style talks designed to be specially relevant for the on-trade, and 100 wineries are expected to exhibit at Wines Unearthed, a feature which headlines wines targeting the UK market for the first time.

London Wine Fair is renowned for its masterclasses, industry briefings and seminars. The Education Zone, which runs in partnership with The Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), is a great learning hub for staff of all levels. A further Masterclass Theatre has been added to manage demand, and on-trade visitors will be well catered for, with big industry names to look out for. Must-attend briefings include ‘Brexit: What Next?’, chaired by the WSTA, and a session on the process of opening your own bar. Those looking to find out the secrets behind the success of Vins de Provence Rosé can take part in the ‘Rosé, any way’ masterclass or enter the ‘Prosecco DOC Dreamland’ with Anne McHale MW and Daniol Cortellini.

To register and secure a place at this year’s show, visit www.londonwinefair.com.

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