Trade tasting showcases diversity of Australian wine

Image courtesy Wine Australia

The Australia Trade Tasting returned to London and Edinburgh last week for the largest and most diverse tasting of Australian wine in the United Kingdom (UK).

Some 750 wines from 200 wineries were showcased to more than 600 UK wine trade, and visiting trade from Europe, across two days of tastings at The Royal Horticultural Halls in London and The Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh.

Running for more than 30 years, the event connects Australian wine producers and importers with in-market buyers, distributors, on-trade, sommeliers, media and educators to gain new business leads, secure listings, generate sales and increase their in-market presence.

“The UK is a key market for Australian wine and we’re fortunate to have a long-standing event in the Australia Trade Tasting to build relationships and create new sales opportunities for our producers,” said Wine Australia CEO Dr Martin Cole.

“While broad economic challenges have taken their toll on wine sales in the UK in recent years, in the year ended December 2023, volume of our wine exports to the UK rose for the first time since mid-2021 and Australia remains the number one source of wine in the UK off-trade market.”

Oz Clarke OBE, a writer, presenter and broadcaster in the UK was impressed by the ‘re-emergence’ of Grenache, noting his excitement at the comeback.

“The classics were shining – the Semillon and Riesling were even better than I remember – and particularly exciting is the emergence – or re-emergence – of grapes like Grenache and Dolcetto which were juicy, mouthwatering and thrilling.”

The Australian Grenache was also a hit with Nina Caplan, Drinks Editor, Times Luxx, who described the trade event as an opportunity to uncover fresh talents.

“I made some fantastic discoveries and talked to some really interesting people,” said Caplan. “The Grenaches were a highlight – it was clear that there is more and more great Grenache coming out of Australia.”

Ed Carr, chief winemaker at House of Arras, who was an exhibitor at the event, said he was pleased with the outcome of the tasting.

“It was a fantastic event for us – excellent quality visitors, great meetings and a buzzing vibe in the room. Conversations with buyers were incredibly positive and we look forward to working with new partners.”

This year’s event showcased 47 grape varieties, including Assyrtiko, Barbera, Kerner, Marsanne, Nebbiolo, Saperavi, Tempranillo and Vermentino. Certified organic wines were also featured, from producers such as Angove Family Winemakers, Cullen, d’Arenberg, Grosset and Mount Horrocks, and the event also hosted a ‘seeking distribution’ free-pour area in London – with 86 new wines from wineries that aren’t in market.

Looking ahead to future events, Wine Australia will host a stand at Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris in February, before returning to ProWein in Düsseldorf in March 2024.

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