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Portuguese wine importers' body disbands with 'job done'

Published:  02 July, 2015

The Portuguese Wine Importers Association has disbanded after 10 years of activity in which it pioneered events such as the Top 50 Portuguese Wines and the Portuguese Wine Awards.

Danny Cameron, director at specialist Portuguese wine supplier Raymond Reynolds and founding member and former chairman of the PWIA, said the body had run its course.

"At the time when the PWIA was established in 2004, there was no marketing representation for Portuguese wine in the UK, which is what the PWIA helped to facilitate," said Cameron.

"But now, the PWIA has run its course; it's a job done. The work has paid off."

Another former PIWA chairman, Nick Oakley, owner of Oakley Wine Agencies, echoed Cameron's view, but some former members opposed the PIWA's dissolution.

"There is now no direct link to the UK trade, no interaction with the industry," said Charles Hawkins, head of Portugal at ABS Wine Agencies.

The dissolution of the PWIA comes four years after the Portuguese government's wine agency, Vini Portugal, contracted Cube Communications to manage its PR and marketing strategy in the UK.

Some importers expressed concerns about the country's profile since The Portuguese Wine Awards and the Top 50 Portuguese Wines initiative were both brought to an end in 2013.

Cube director Chris Mitchell played down the importers' concerns. "Portugal will be more active next year in the UK," he said.

Cameron said Portuguese wine sales had made good progress over the past decade and that a new generation of wine drinkers had discovered the country's wines. "The PWIA fulfilled its objectives," he said.