EXCLUSIVE: ukvine.com is to host a one-hour Industry Briefing, What’s the future for English wine?, at May’s London International Wine Fair 2012, the annual spring event featuring wineries and distilleries from across the globe that arrives in London’s Dockland, a stone’s throw from the site of the Olympics.
In a first for the UK industry, ukvine.com will host the panel discussion that will bring together a retailer, marketing commentator, producer and wine industry celebrity, all with a passion for English wine to talk on the future prospects of the industry and to introduce the topic of English wine to the foreign and domestic visitors to the fair.
James Graham, ukvine.com editor, says: “I know that many foodies and wine lovers are asking ‘What’s the story with English wine?’ It is a story of domestic production that is capable of being taken seriously by wine consumers as it reaches a critical mass of production which will allow it to take on foreign competition.
“More English wine is being sold to the UK on trade, as English wines are increasingly getting out there. The quality of the wine is improving year on year, and that the product is very good. England has had some larger harvests in recent years that have seen average production increase year on year.
“This industry briefing panel, made up of retail, marketing and production expertise will look at the current state of wine production in England, the state of the market at home and abroad for English wine, the medium-term opportunities for growers and how changing consumer tastes can be translated into retail sales leading to greater investment over the next decade. Questions that will have to be asked are whether there is a limit to English wine’s growth prospects, how to convert reluctant drinkers to English wine and will climate change be a help or a hindrance to the sector over the next decade.”
The talk will be held in an early slot on the third day of the fair and Graham is pleased that the website has been able to provide such an important platform at an international event.
He says: “I will brief the panellists to concentrate on where English wine is headed, not where it has come from. Visitors from Bordeaux, Chile or New Zealand will not be interested in perceptions of English wine in the 1970s. Visitors, even from the UK, will want to know how much is available, is it worth buying and will anyone drink it – both now and in the future.
“I have secured three first rate panellists and am looking for a celebrity wine writer or wit with an interest in English wine. When that person comes on board, I will reveal their identities.
“If you have never been to the LIWF at ExCel and have an interest in English wine, this could be a great reason to come to London.”
Admission to the fair and attendance at the Industry Briefing is free but registration is required. Registration for the Industry Briefing opens soon.
LIWF industry briefing What’s the future for English wine?
Thursday, May 24 10.30-11.30