London International Wine Fair (LIWF) was sustainable for Chile in more than one way. Not only was the stand Wines of Chile were championing completely self-sustainable, the producers that attended this long-running UK and international wine fair felt that coming was a good move towards sustaining their own future in the UK and Europe market.
The smaller attendance numbers at LIWF, in its 33rd year, turned out to be in some ways advantageous for producers as they had more time with each of their buyers and the chance to speak more in depth with people about their new products and lines.
“Each year it’s become a bit smaller but you still see very important people and you have the opportunity to meet with them for a longer time which in some ways is better,” commented Gonzalez Latorre from Indomita. “In the end I am very happy with coming to the fair. Time has flown by again but we have had very good meetings. The same buyers who previously have ten minutes for you now have half an hour… it is much better.”
Chile’s stand was hotly attended by clients and press who wanted to come and check out some of the country’s exciting new styles and wines. “We have had a terrific three days with customers prepared to look at new ideas and new ways to talk to consumers,” said Tom Lethaby from Santa Rita Estates. “Our Cabernet Franc is something new for Chile and that’s what lots of people have been looking for… moving beyond the usual wines and looking for something different.”
Another variety that was particularly popular with tasters was the old vine Carignan which some people specifically sought out after hearing rave reviews in the press. “There is a lot of interest in the Carignan-based wines,” commented Carlos Spoerer from Morande. “A lot of people have come directly to try the Carignan.”
Three tasting seminars emphasised the diversity and exciting new styles of Chilean wine. British wine experts Peter Richards and Jo Ahearne led the tastings. “Trade fairs communicate to the people that communicate to the consumer,” Jo explained about the importance and relevance of wine fairs for the trade.
Her presentations and tastings on the ‘tapestry of Chile’ focused opening people’s eyes to experimenting with Chile’s diverse range of wines. “What Chile does for the consumer is that they can buy a full wine with lots of flavor and more freshness than from elsewhere at the same price… Consumers can explore the country within their price range. They can reach an amazing difference of character.”
The growing interest in the different styles and wines that Chile is producing was evident at LIWF and it was clear to all the producers in attendance that coming to the international wine fairs is essential for meeting with existing clients, finding new clients and communicating the story of Chile.
“In this Fair we need to do several things,” explains Alvaro Arriagada, Europe Manager for Wines of Chile, “we look for the distributors and clients but also we need to teach about the new trends of Chile. We try to do different seminars and to teach and teach and teach! We are always giving the consumers product knowledge.”
“The seminars have been very positive,” added Anita Jackson, Campaign Manager. “We need to continue seminars and focus tastings in places like this. [LIWF] has been really good, we’re really pleased. The atmosphere is much more personal this year with time to talk to people.”
By Amanda Barnes
The next trade fair for Wines of Chile is Vinexpo in Bordeaux from 16 June. Come and visit WOC there if you can!