England comes of age at London Wine Fair

English wine is set to be one of the most visited categories at this year’s London Wine Fair.  Visitors surveyed at registration have been asked to stipulate which country they are most interested in investigating, and the United Kingdom is in the top five.   France comes out top, followed by Italy, Spain, Australia, and the U.K.  Combined, France and Italy are set to dominate with over 42% of visitors expressing interest to date.  The U.K. comes above those with a far great presence in the U.K. and globally, namely South Africa, Argentina, Chile, and New Zealand.

Since registration opened on 16th March, over 5,000 members of the wine trade have registered – the fastest visitor registration since The Fair returned to Olympia.  The organisers have also asked those registered so far to identify price point, grape variety and current issues which are of most interest.  Traditional grape varieties dominate with nearly a third of visitors to date selecting Pinot Noir as their number one grape variety, followed by Chardonnay; Cabernet Sauvignon; Sauvignon Blanc; Malbec; Riesling; Merlot; Albariño; Tempranillo; and Shiraz.  The price point visitors are most interested in is the premium category, at £10.00 to £14.99. In terms of trends and issues, Exchange Rates, Duty on Wine, and the EU Trade Deal are of most concern to visitors this year.

Show director, Ross Carter, commented: “our straw poll shows how far the English wine category has progressed in the last few years.  Less than a decade ago it was barely on the radar and now we have 20 wineries at this year’s fair: generically, within the English Wine Producers pavilion and “Wines of Somerset” – exhibiting for the first time with Aldwick Court Farm & Vineyard and Smith & Evans; on importer stands; and as individual exhibitors.  This interest reflects both the category growth but also the significant leap in quality over recent years.”

The London Wine Fair will take place between Monday 22nd and Wednesday 24th May this year.  To register as a visitor to the London Wine Fair, please visit: www.londonwinefair.com