Australia remains the leading exporter of New World wine to the UK, but it is coming under increasing pressure from the likes of California, Chile and South Africa.
America’s Blossom Hill scored a major coup recently when it became the biggest single wine brand in the UK off-trade.
Among the Blossom Hill activity at the fair will be a chance to taste its new reserve range, available in full size and 25cl bottles.
On the Beringer Blass stand, there’ll be the chance to hear the philosophy behind changes to the company’s brands, direct from Ron Schrieve, the California producer’s vice-president of premium wine management. Beringer has built a range with four tiers of brands based on different price points and trade channels, but with the emphasis on the Beringer name across the board.
The company will also be demonstrating the results of sensory research it has conducted which showed differences in palate between US and British consumers, with the result that new blends of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc have been created for the UK market.
Visitors will be able to taste both old and new blends.
Patriarche Wine Agencies will be showing wines from California’s Hahn Estates for the first time.
The Central Coast producer’s range comprises the HRM Goliath range, which will retail at about £6.99.
Meanwhile, Fetzer is launching new labels for its Pacific Bay off-trade range.
Bibendum will be playing host to the revamped Graham Beck range from South Africa, with labels redesigned to emphasise premium qualities and meet both retail and restaurant customer needs.
New releases include Franschhoek Shiraz Viognier, a Brut Rosé sparkling wine, and a still rosé at the £5.99 price point.
Thierry’s will be showing Cape Grace,a new brand produced in collaboration with the African Pride winery.
South Africa has made big advances in wine quality in recent years and will have a significant presence at the show.
Dumisani will be adding Pinotage, Chardonnay and a rosé to its range available through PLB. The singe varietals will have an rsp of £4.49.
Darlington Wines will be exhibiting wines from its fair trade-accredited Stellar Organic Wine Cellar. The range comprises Live-a-Little, Really Ravishing Red and Wildly Wicked White.
Argentina will also have a presence at the show with offerings that include Bodegas Trapiche’s new Bonarda 2002, an addition to the Broquel range, and Astica, a £3.99 wine due to be launched later this year in the autumn.
Jacques & Francois Lurton is introducing its ultra-premium Malbec-based Chacayes, which comes from three plots of 50-year-old vines in Valle del Uco. Only 5,000 bottles of the Argentine wine are produced each year.
New Zealand’s Villa Maria will have its new-look single vineyard range available to taste for the first time, on the Hatch Mansfield stand, which will also host the country’s Esk Valley wines.
The boutique winery will be showing 2002 vintage wine from its terraced vineyard, available en primeur under the Terraces Name. PLB is adding Malbec-Cabernet to its High Altitude range which combines traditional Argentine grapes with international varieties.
Grapes come from vineyards at altitudes of 1,000 metres or above.
Unsurprisingly, the Australians are not prepared to take the increased competition lying down and will again have a massive presence at the fair.
Beringer Blass Wine Estates will be showing its Local Stories wines, a new range of wines from seven key viticultural areas of Australia.
Salena Estate will launch Tyrone’s Turn, named after the son of winery owner Bob Ranchitto. There’ll also be new packaging for the Salena Estate range, with colour coding for each grape variety.
Aussie producer Angove’s is exhibiting its Long Row wine brand for the first time through D& D Wines.
The wines are made with fruit from Angove’s Nanya vineyard blended with premium parcels from cooler climate growing areas.
Darlington Wines will be launching the first wines from Roberts Estate, an Australian firm that supplies fruit and veg to Tesco, Waitrose and Asda. There are three ranges: Midday Sun, Wanted and Commissioners Block.