Liberty pulls out of LIWF7th March, 2013 by Gabriel Savage
Liberty Wines is the latest big name to withdraw from the London International Wine Fair.
Having attended the fair every year since 1997, the UK merchant, which represents producers including Champagne Charles Heidsieck, Greywacke in Marlborough and Shaw & Smith in Adelaide Hills, confirmed it will “take a break” from the 2013 event.
The news comes shortly after Liberty completed a series of portfolio trade tastings in Bristol, Edinburgh, Dublin and Manchester, which attracted 550 of its customers.
Insisting that the UK merchant had originally intended to exhibit at LIWF as well, David Gleave MW, managing director of Liberty Wines, confirmed that the company had changed its mind during the course of the roadshow.
“It today’s market you have to go to your customers,” he told the drinks business. “Our best customers these days are doing a very good job of selling – they don’t necessarily have time to come to the London Wine Fair so we’ve got to go to them.”
Pointing to LIWF’s “dwindling audience for the last few years,” Gleave stressed: “We remain committed to some sort of fair that’s centrally based and focused on more serious wine.”
Following its recent relocation to new premises in Clapham, south London, Liberty now has an “ideal venue” for hosting its own tasting events, which the company confirmed will play a “significant part” in its activities over the coming months.
Among the other companies who have decided not to exhibit at LIWF this year are Buckingham Schenk and Mentzendorff. However, a number of new faces will be making an appearance at the fair, including its first Chinese exhibitor.