The Australia Trade Tasting returned to London on 24 January 2023, showcasing 700 wines from 200 wine producers to hundreds of trade and media in the UK.
The annual event – connecting UK wine trade with UK-based distributors and Australian wineries both in market and seeking distribution – has run for more than 30 years, with a brief hiatus in 2021 due to COVID-19.
Key features of this year’s trade tasting were:
- 20 visiting Australian winemakers, winery owners and principals
- wines from 50 regions – from Great Southern and Margaret River, Langhorne Creek and Barossa Valley, Strathbogie Ranges and Yarra Valley, to Orange and Hunter Valley
- 51 grape varieties – from Albariño and Barbera, Sangiovese and Tempranillo, to Viognier and Zibibbo
- sparkling wines from Adelaide Hills, Margaret River, McLaren Vale, Tasmania, Pyrenees and Wrattonbully
- alternative wines and new launches – low and no alcohol (NOLO) wines, wine in cans, and wines from celebrities
- wines from Sustainable Winegrowing Australia members, and
- 150 wines from new producers seeking distribution in the UK.
Wine Australia General Manager, Marketing Paul Turale said: “We were delighted to welcome Australian winemakers and winery representatives back to the event after the last few years of COVID and travel restrictions.
“It was great to see a mix of old favourites and new faces among them, offering up the classics and something a bit different to our 450-strong audience of UK wine trade professionals.
“It’s clear there’s a real appetite from the on-trade and buyers to see more producers in market, pouring their wines and telling their stories about what makes Australian wine unique.
“And a big thanks to the producers and regional bodies who have helped us bolster interest and passion for Australian wine during travel restrictions. Our virtual tastings and educational sessions have been hugely successful with loads of positive engagement from importers and media across the UK and mainland Europe,” said Mr Turale.
Wine Australia Regional General Manager for the UK and EMEA Laura Jewell MW said: “It was great to see the enthusiasm for our diverse range of wines at the Australia Trade Tasting. From the conversations I had with guests, it’s clear that Australian wine continues to be a key category for the UK trade, and I’m hopeful that this will translate to new opportunities for our producers and increased sales of Australian wines.”
Australia Trade Tasting attendee Oz Clarke OBE, wine writer, television presenter and broadcaster, said: “I’d forgotten how thrilling Australian wine is. Old faces have never been better and there were wonderful new faces I didn’t even know about.”
Lay and Wheeler Buyer Beth Pearce MW said, “I tasted brilliant wines from producers I already work with and I found some gems in the new-to-market area. It was also a great opportunity to catch up with the Aussies.”
Australia Trade Tasting exhibitor Lesley Cook, Purchasing Director from Lanchester Wines said: “The Australia Trade Tasting is a must-attend event. Trade and media were out in full force and there was a lot of excitement towards our wines and Australian wine overall.”
Vinea Marson winemaker Madeleine Marson said: “It was my first time at the Australia Trade Tasting and it was fantastic to see the enthusiasm for Australian wines, especially for our alternative varieties. It was great meeting UK and European trade and I had very positive conversations with a number of sommeliers.”
Keeping up the momentum for Australian wine promotion, 61 Australian wineries and 6 regional bodies will visit Germany in March to exhibit at Wine Australia’s largest-ever stand at ProWein, where they will present their wines and connect with trade from across the world.