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Leading lights of UK wine trade gather for today's Harpers France Summit

Published:  21 October, 2014

Leading figures from all channels of the wine trade will be today taking part in the second Harpers France Summit to look at ways in which retailers, restaurants, distributors and importers can make the most of French wine in the UK.

The day will include a number of set piece industry debates, insights in to French wine trends in the UK, specialist masterclasses and will conclude with the announcement of the winners in the Harpers France Wine Awards.

The day's line-up of activity will include the latest off-tradedata from Tim Wilson of the Wilson Drinks Report, an analysis of French online wine sales from Jon Rebuck of Wines Direct and an assessment of UK French wines sales compared to the rest of the world from Anne Burchett of summit partner, Sopexa.

A major highlight of the France Summit will be a series of specialist masterclasses where visitors will get the chance to taste wines and hear their views of Master Sommeliers, Gerard Basset and Kathrine Larsen, the current UK Sommelier of the Year and from award winning independent wine merchant Hal Wilson. 

The day will conclude with the Harpers French Wine Awards based on the votes of key trade figures which will determine which supermarkets, independents, restaurants, bars and individuals will be rewarded for their achievement selling French wine over the last year.

The summit will include two debates. The morning open trade debate will look at the steps the French wine industry has taken to adapt its wines to suit the needs of the UK wine trade and its consumers. Key speakers will include Rebecca Palmer, Corney & Barrow, Simone Jerrome, Matthew Clark, Nick Darlington, Red Squirrel Wines, Hal Wilson, Dr Arabella Woodrow MW, Broadland Wineries, Kingsland Wines, Murphy Wine, Free Run Wines, Alistair Morrell, Wine Fusion and Marie Knight, PLB, Tim North, Les Grands Chais de France, Alex Canetti, Berkmann Wine and wine consultant, Angela Mount.

Personal stories

In the afternoon key players from different channels will tell their personal stories about how they have succeeded with French wine in the UK. These include Richard Evans of Dedicated Wines, the UK wine agency that helped devise the Les Dauphins wine brand, Daniel Murphy of bulk wine brokers, Murphy Wine Company, Master Sommelier Gerard Basset who help found the Hotel du Vin and now operates TerraVina and Daniel Lambert who runs his own import and distribution business with a heavy focus on French wine.

There will also be the chance to hear directly from key influential French bodies and companies that have signed up as partners for the day. These include: Les Grands Chais de France, Plaimont Producteurs, French Wines with Style, Côtes du Rhône Crus, The Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins du Centre, InterLoire, the Conseil des Vins du Médoc, the Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bourgogne, Sud de France and PLB.

The day will conclude with the results of the Harpers French Wine Awards.


Restaurant wine list - Regional

  • Alimentum  
  • Les Mirabelles, Salisbury
  • TerraVina

Best Restaurant wine List London

  • Club Gascon
  • The Greenhouse
  • Green Man & French Horn
  • The Square 

Best independent for French Wine - Small

  • Amps Fine Wines
  • Grape & Grind
  • The Sampler
  • Taurus Wines

Best Independent Large

  • Cambridge Wine Merchants
  • Ellies Cellar
  • Laithwaite's

Best Distributor for French Wine

  • Daniel Lambert
  • George Barbier
  • Les Caves de Pyrene
  • Thorman Hunt

Best Supermarket for French Wine

  • Marks & Spencer
  • Sainsbury's 
  • Waitrose

Best Online/specialist retailer  

  • Laithwaite's Wine
  • Majestic
  • The Wine Society

French wine writer/critic

  •  Tim Atkin MW
  • Stephen Brook
  • Matt Walls

French wine ambassador

  • Richard Bampfield MW
  • Gerard Basset  OBE MS MW
  • Tim North, Les Grands Chais de France

A Harpers Special Recognition Award will be announced on the day.