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Wines of Beautiful South to return in 2016 as South Africa switches focus to Cape Wine

Published:  19 September, 2014

The combined Chile, Argentina and South Africa Wines of the Beautiful South tasting will not take place next year as South Africa switches its attention to Cape Wine. But Chile and Argentina will continue to work together with a joint South American tasting sometime in London in 2015.

The announcement comes on the back of highly encouraging visitor numbers for the 2014 event held at London's Olympia last week when over 1,200 members of the trade visited the show over its two days on September 10 and 11.

The trade will have to wait until  2016 for the three countries to link up again, but the success of the 2014 event, which included improved signage and layout means it looks set to become a long term fixture in the UK tasting calendar.

In all some 1,223 people attended the Wines of the Beautiful South tasting which was up 7.3% on the inaugural event last year as the UK wine trade took advantage of the opportunity taste wines from across the three counties and meet their winemakers and UK distributors.

What was particularly pleasing for the organisers was that nearly half (48%) of visitors went to the show on both days between September 10 and 11, meaning day two had 11% higher footfall than the previous year.

This year's Wines of the Beautiful South also saw a number of high calibre buyers visiting from key markets across Europe with the presence of the Nordic monopolies in particular attracting considerable interest from the exhibitors.  In total 11% of buyers were from outside the UK.

The event also attracted most of the major UK retailers to the event, said the organisers, with representatives of Tesco, Asda, Spar, Marks & Spencer, The Co-operative Group, Waitrose, Majestic Wines, Harvey Nichols, Wine Society and Laithwaites all present.

Many independent merchants also took advantage of a travel bursary to visit the show.

On-trade buyers included sommeliers from the Gordon Ramsey Group, Hotel du Vin, Hawksmoor,  Whitbread and Matthew Clark.

In all the show had 250 producers from the three participating countries.

A spokesperson for Wines of the Beautiful South said: "We are delighted with the positive response that the 2014 event  generated and believe that this collaborative approach ensures a 'must attend' tasting in the busy UK trade calendar. We listened to the feedback from the inaugural show in 2013 and made improvements that we feel will continue to ensure quality visitors and a tasting that meets the needs of the trade in the UK and beyond."

There will be further Wines of the Beautiful South tastings held at both ProWein and Vinexpo in 2015.