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France to come out fighting

France will have a huge presence at this year’s show, with many top industry names leading tastings and seminars as the country seeks to claw back volumes from the New World.

the drinks business picks out a few highlights from French exhibitors which are sure to grab your interest over the course of the show.

IVSO and The Wine Gang – stand G22/1

The IVSO (Interprofession des Vins du Sud Ouest), the body responsible for marketing South West French wines, has formed an exclusive partnership with The Wine Gang to help UK professionals discover (or perhaps rediscover) the range of wines from the region.
Discover the personalities of the South West France wines which feature in two free tasting areas and five seminars:
The Wine Gang Selection

In March this year, Tim Atkin MW, Tom Cannavan, Anthony Rose, Joanna Simon and Olly Smith spent three days in the region tasting a selection of wines to select their favourite South West France personalities.

The 36 wines on this table represent the wines that the Gang feel best demonstrate the quality and diversity of the region.
The Discovery Table

This area of the stand will focus each day on four different key appellations or denominations from the South West. It will offer the opportunity to discover an extensive and representative selection of wines from specific denominations and the ideal place to hunt for a little known gem waiting to be unearthed.
The stand will also feature a series of five seminars, each presented by a different member of The Wine Gang, and each focusing on a different aspect of the region.

Indigenous red grape varieties: Joanna Simon
Tuesday 18 May, 11.30am  
South West wine is good for your heart: Anthony Rose
Tuesday 18 May, 2.00pm  
From aperitif to dessert: Olly Smith
Wednesday 19 May, 11.30am  
A selection for the wine list: Tom Cannavan
Wednesday 19 May, 3.00pm  
Whites of the South West: Tim Atkin
Thursday 20 May, 11.30am  
The stand will also host three producers: Cave de Crouseilles-Madiran, Producteurs Plaimont and Vinovalie, each renowned for their large, qualitative and innovative range of South West France wines at all price points.

Beaujolais Wines – stand G40/1

Beaujolais Wines will host a series of seminars, presented by Charles Metcalfe, Sarah Jane Evans MW and Isabelle Legeron MW, on its stand at this year’s show.

A different seminar will be held on each day of the fair and they will all demonstrate that Beaujolais wines are the best option for a lighter red at a lighter price.

Visitors are also invited to attend the following seminars and learn about the region and its wines:

The Diversity of Beaujolais – Tuesday 18 May, 2.30pm

If you think Beaujolais is red and nothing but red, then think again. Discover the great variety of Beaujolais wines including refreshing rosé and white wines, as well as organic. The seminar will be presented by Isabelle Legeron MW.

Beaujolais Vintage 2009: History in the Making – Wednesday 19 May, 3.30pm

2009 was an exceptional vintage. But what made it so special in Beaujolais that some experts are saying it’s the best in 50 years? Sarah Jane Evans MW will present some examples of the new vintage which have the potential to be laid down for up to 15 years.

Gamay, Glorious Gamay – Thursday 20 May, 10.30am

Charles Metcalfe will host an in-depth seminar about Gamay and its homeland, Beaujolais. Come and learn about the only French wine region where Gamay is King and taste examples of the grape variety.

Jean Bourjade, managing director of Inter Beaujolais, said: “The series of seminars will be the perfect opportunity for visitors of the LIWF to get to know Beaujolais wines in more depth, in a year which sees the release of the outstanding 2009 vintage.

“We welcome all to come and visit our stand to see for themselves just what the region has to offer the UK market in terms of high-quality wines which represent fantastic value for money and which meet the demands of today’s consumer.”

Beaujolais Wines are sponsoring the LIWF this year and visitors will receive a Beaujolais-branded lanyard to wear with their badge with the slogan “Beaujolais: a lighter red at a lighter price”. The whole range of the region’s light and fruity wines will be available to sample on G40/1, with about 100 wines available for sampling on the new-look stand and visitors will also have the opportunity to meet producers from the region.

Fast-Track to France

The Fast-Track to France stand is designed as a one-stop shop for French wines and is located at the heart of the French Zone. It features three tasting areas segmented according to the new EU wine reform:

•    Top 100 PGI France: This is the new version of the Top 100 Vins de Pays competition, and features 100 wines selected by a jury of top UK wine professionals, led by chairman Tim Atkin MW.

Tuesday 18 May

3.30pm Trophy Presentation with Tim Atkin MW .
4.30pm Tutored tasting of trophy winning wines with Tim Atkin MW

Thursday 20 May

11.00pm Tutored tasting of trophy winning wines with wine writer Simon Woods

•    French AOC / PDO* wines: A selection from those wines available at the fair – this is a tasting designed as a shortcut for visitors keen to get an overview of the category’s French offering at LIWF 2010.

•    Best Value Vin de France Selection: The first chance to taste a selection of French wines from this new category all in one place. The selection of wines was chosen by a panel of UK wine professionals, led by chairman Anthony Rose.

Wednesday 19 May

3.00pm Trophy Presentation with Anthony Rose
3.30pm Tutored tasting of Trophy winning wines with Anthony Rose

“Fast-Track to France is a real shortcut to the French offer for time-pressured visitors at the LIWF, enabling them to discover wines from across France which are of interest to the UK market. If you are looking for new French wines, new vintages or new brands, this stand is the place to be,” said Anne Burchett, managing director of Sopexa UK.

Alan Lodge, 17.05.2010

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