Beer, Bordeaux and bulk wine for LWF 201424th April, 2014 by Patrick Schmitt
The London Wine Fair is to feature a host of new sections for the first time this year, including an area for bulk wine producers and another for craft beer, alongside a series of Bordeaux tastings.
As previously reported by the drinks business, an area called Brewhouse will feature this year dedicated to small batch, specialist and craft beer brewers, following on from the fair’s successful Pop Up International Beer Competition tasting in 2013.
Commenting earlier this month on the addition of a beer section to the fair for 2014, LWF exhibition director Ross Carter said, “We are very enthusiastic about craft beers being represented because it gives visitors an opportunity to taste a product that is more akin to wine in its complexity and the way it’s made.”
Breweries that will be showcasing their ranges at the fair, which will run from June 2 to 4 at Kensington’s Olympia, include Harbour Brewing, Harviestoun, Batemans, Liberty Beer, Fordham & Dominion American Craft Beers, Meantime, Portobello, Freedom Brewery and Williams Brothers Brewery.
Carter explained that he liked the idea of “events within an event” and consequently, as well as the section for craft beers, LWF this year will feature an area for bulk wine producers in the centre of the main hall.
Comprising 15 bulk producers “in a stand alone area”, Carter said he had decided to group together such businesses because “bulk is taking a more important role in the UK market”, and he thought that a dedicated section was “potentially useful” for buyers looking for 24,000 litres or more of wine.
A further centrally-located section will be dedicated to wine service providers, such as bottlers, label designers, glassware makers, or logistics companies.
Elsewhere, as previously outlined by db, LWF will comprise a further section called Esoterica for “small scale and specialist” wine importers and agents.
Designed as an affordable way to attract smaller exhibitors to the fair, Esoterica will be located on the balcony of the National Hall at LWF’s new Olympia venue. It will be managed by Judy Kendrick, founder of JK Marketing, who has launched a number of specialist trade events, including the SITT tastings.
Costing £950 per table, Carter said the low price meant that “the minnows and mum and dad operations can take part in the wine fair for the first time”. Carter said that 90% of the 61 companies who have chosen to exhibit within Esoterica had never taken part in the fair before.
With 72 tables and 14 wines per table, Carter stressed that over 1,000 wines would be on pour in this space alone.
Also new for this year will be the Gallery Theatre, which will host as many as 66 tastings and seminars in “a space dedicated to the unsung heroes of the wine trade, from quality assurance to logistics,” according to Carter.
Other firsts at the LWF include a Cru Bourgeois du Médoc tasting in the Apex Room on Wednesday 4 June, which will feature the “the Official Selection 2011” that was published last September.
Meanwhile the exhibition welcomes back the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux, which will be showing wines from the 2011 vintage on Monday 2 June from 11am to 4pm. Like the tasting above, this will take place in the Apex Room.
However, one aspect to past London Wine Fairs that won’t be returning in 2014 is a dedicated zone for spirits. Carter told db, “We wanted wine to be the key product, and although there are several exhibitors who do handle both wine and spirits, for the time being, there will be no spirits.”
For those who want to see the full listing of events and tastings at LWF 2014 please click here.