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LIWF Day Three: live blog

Published:  24 May, 2012

It's the third and final day of LIWF and Harpers' news team will be keeping you posted about what's going on at the fair.

 3.30pm: The judges go off to decide which wineries might get a listing after the live pitches have been completed in the first WineStars competition. The likes of Direct Wines' Justin Howard-Sneyd, Waitrose's Andrew Shaw, Joan Torrents from Mitchells & Butler, Ben Stephenson Hanging Ditch along with event founder Catherine Monahan of Clink! Wines will decide which wines they might want to take on. The remaining wineries plus 90 others that did not make the live final will be available for anyone to bid for on the WineStars website,

1pm: Winestars competition starts. Ten wineries get the chance to win a listing in national supermarkets, independents and specialist on and off-trade operators by doing live pitches to a panel of judges. Follow @harperswine for regular Tweet updates.

12.45pm: Richard Evans of Dedicated Wines can forsee a time when the London International Wine Fair becomes a show for independents, specialists, regional wholesalers and the on-trade and is no longer the primary focus for the major buyers of multiple operators.

"The big buyers are getting bigger," he said and their immediate priorities are now more around refining and cutting back on their ranges, rather than always looking for something new. "If we were to show something completely new at the wine fair for the first time the major buyers would want to know why we had not shown it to them first." He added: "The trade is becoming split between those buyers that need to be at events like the Wine Fair and those that want to do their business in private."

12.30pm: Simon Thorpe MW, managing director of Negociants UK, says taking control of its own sales and front line opertations with independents and the on-trade will help in its bid to become the number one  Australian and New Zealand wine specialist in the UK.

12.00pm: Mentzendorff managing director Andrew Hawes said the company is taking a "catious approach" to acquisitions. "We don't follow fads, we look for opportunities to form long term relationships." Italy is a country Hawes said Mentzendorff "might be interested in", adding "we'll probably look within Europe for something".

11.30am: Treasury Estates general manager for the UK and Ireland Dan Townsend, said now that it has been operating under its own steam for 12 months, it is able to be a lot more "nimble" and respond to markets and trends - hence the launch of its Beringer Classics range, Wolf Blass Yellow Label Moscato, and more coming on stream soon.

10:30am: The Oregon Wine Board's executive director Tom Danowski said that the UK is its second most important export market after Canada, accounting for 2 to 3% of market share. Danowski is hopeful that its UK sales will double within the next three years. "It's very ambitious," he added. Danowski took up the rolw late last year - he previously worked for Starbucks and Washington winery Ste Michelle.

9:30am: Bumped into LIWF marketing director Will Broadfoot arriving at the fair - as of 4pm yesterday visitors to the fair were up by five people on last year, with the total at around 9,000 by the end of day two.

Keep checking back here throughout the day to get bite-sized chunks of news to keep you bang-up-to-date.