Globally local

19 May, 2017

The London Wine Fair brings producers from across the globe together under one roof. Shay Waterworth previews


Where: Olympia, London W14 8UX

When: 22-24 May 2017

What: Wine fair specialising in on-trade retail

Visitors est: 10,000

Opening times:

Monday May 22: 10:00-18:30

Tuesday May 23: 09:30-17:30

Wednesday May 24: 09:30-17:30


THIS YEAR’S LONDON Wine Fair will represent more than 40 countries from around the world, have 10,000 varieties of wine on display and host debates on Brexit, making it the most diverse show in its 37-year history – all under one roof.

Since moving to Olympia in 2014 the London Wine Fair has grown in popularity and show director Ross Carter is excited by the increasing diversity of one of the world’s largest wine trade events focusing on independent on-trade retailers.

“There will be no other time in the year when this many wine producers get together at one event, so it is an absolute must,” he says. “The importers cover all sizes, from introductory, low cost to mass distribution. There are some countries attending you would never expect to produce wine, such as Azerbaijan or those in central Asia. Even volcanic wines are now very trendy.”

Carter is keen to demonstrate this diversity by staging a variety of tasting sessions, masterclasses, pop-up events and even a workshop for businesses with fewer than five employees.

“We’ll have three spaces for tasting at the wine fair. We have the masterclasses, which is an 80-seat tasting theatre for hour-long sessions on diverse subjects and contemporary wine styles, with interest on the trade as well. In particular, independent retail and the on-trade markets, which has been happening for many years.

“We like our industry professionals to try to be education-led. We understand there’s a brand aspect in the trade but we favour education.”

There are many wine trade events around the world with thousands of wines on offer, but Carter still backs the London event to flourish.

“There are an awful lot of wine trade events, some would argue too many, but I think the London Wine Fair is the one time of the year that the great and the good of the wine trade all come out to play.

“There’s a 14,000 audience over three days, so the atmosphere is quite something.”

According to Carter the London Wine Fair is the perfect place for wines without representation to grow their brands.

“The London Wine Fair is the best way to meet retailers first-hand, particularly because it’s in May when wine isn’t vintage. And if you haven’t already got representation then I think it’s a fantastic opportunity to meet a broad selection of importers – well over 100 of them, in fact.

One brand he is particularly excited about is French producer Château Latife Rothschild.

“The Rothschild collection is taking part for the first time ever and it really is a royalty of wine production. I’m sure when it opens a bottle of its 2010 vintage it will attract a lot of interest.”

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