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BWT blog: why you can't afford to miss it

Published:  26 August, 2011

Showcasing top-quality, limited-volume wines is the Boutique Wineries Tasting on September 20 at The Business Design Centre in Islington, London.

The event is a one-stop shop for independent on and off-trade buyers looking to add excitement and interest to their wine list or range.

For exhibitors, it's a chance to put their premium wines in the spotlight and highlight to the trade why family-run, boutique producers are the answer to finding innovative wines in small quantities.

But don't take our word for it. Harpers Wine & Spirit asks two exhibitors to tell us, in their own words, why the Boutique Wineries Tasting is a must-attend tasting for any independent.

Vinum, Chris Loveday:

"Vinum has, since its inception twenty years ago, always focused on the smaller wine producers. This was in part due to the background of Angelo Cane, the founder of Vinum and an oenologist from Piemonte, who had realised that wines of character and quality were almost invariably from smaller boutique wineries where often the owner was also the winemaker.

Consequently we have sold our wines to restaurants and wine merchants who are themselves interested and excited by wines and all their variations and nuances. Fortunately over the last two decades Italy has undergone a renaissance with indigenous and esoteric grapes being pushed into the limelight. This sort of development can only really be done if you have a lively and vibrant industry of boutique wineries full of mad and obsessed winemakers determined to make their mark and bring their regional grapes to the international market.

Hand in hand with Italy's upsurge has been the need on the part of wine merchants to clearly delineate themselves from supermarkets which they do with knowledgeable staff offering wines of quality. The Italian restaurant sector has also moved on, to a situation where they now feel comfortable with having the whole of their list coming from Italy - not the case twenty years ago. In both cases this is due in no small part to boutique wineries."

The Oregon Wine Board, Mike Coveney:

"The Oregon Wine Board are showing a number of wineries seeking representation in the UK at this years BWT. Of the nine wineries being poured, each will show an example of their Pinot Noir, the major red grape of the Willamette Valley and there will also be a variety of White wines to sample ranging from Alsace-inspired Pinot Gris and Rieslings to Dijon-clone Chardonnay.

The Oregon wine industry is predominantly made up of small, family-owned wineries with the average production of the region being around 5 to 10 thousand cases per annum, so the Boutique Winery Tasting is a terrific opportunity for UK independent retailers and those seeking something more esoteric to discover the quality and artisanal character of Oregon wines.

We have made terrific headway in the UK with Oregon Wines in the last five years, with many more wineries now being distributed here. We want to maintain the momentum we have built up by placing more wineries with like-minded UK representatives and the BWT is the perfect occasion to show these wines to customers who can give them the attention they deserve."

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