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Wines of Germany returns to LWF 2017 as fair continues its evolution

Published:  06 February, 2017

London's biggest wine tasting event is welcoming another old face when it returns in May.

This year the London Wine Fair (LWF) will welcome several new and returning exhibitors, including major European generic body Wines from Germany.

This will be the first time Wines from Germany will have exhibited at the LWF for seven years, when the show was held at the Excel.

The fair will also have a larger list of French participants, with InterRhône making its debut and Châteauneuf-du-Pape set to return for a second year.

Show organiser Ross Carter said that while generic bodies tend to participate in the fair cyclically, welcoming Wines from Germany back to the fold marks another step towards ensuring that the fair has the right exhibitors for its visitor-base.

"Generic bodies come and go, but having Wines from Germany back is hugely important for the fair. Growth has mainly been on the importer side, but also we've had regions coming back. Credibility-wise, we're in the strongest position we've been in for many years," he said.

The LWF has been on a long road to recovery since its return to the Olympia in 2014.

Following 13 years at the Excel in London's Docklands, it re-launched with the mission to be more representative of smaller, more independent businesses and the on-trade.

"Before the financial crisis when the wine fair was humongous, it did become a jack of all trades," Carter confessed. "Many exhibitors were targeting multiple retailers and big business, and some of them were doing as much spirits as wine. It was very big-brand focused, to its detriment. Indies didn't feel it spoke to them anymore."

Since then, organisers have introduced Esoterica and Wines Unearthed to address this imbalance, so that now Carter says the on-trade and indies are at the "top of the agenda".

"The on-trade and indies account for many tens of thousands of wines. They're never going to reach volume of the multiples, but they are high in value. The wine fair by its nature is designed for their needs, because sommeliers and indie buyers want the opportunity to taste these wines."

The event is also returning to its usual slot at the end of May after an earlier date last year.

Carter confirmed: "Last year was an anomaly. It's been held at the end of May for the last 37 years. It seems to work because it's in between harvests and the major months for the trade tends to be May and September.

"There may have been an even better reason for the May date 37 years ago - but it needs to be relevant for the trade to today, so we're open to discussions about it."

At this year's fair, Wines from Germany will feature alongside a bolstered French category.

While Italy will remain the largest country represented overall, France will increase its participation with InterRhône exhibiting and Châteauneuf-du-Pape returning with a full stand, following a successful pop-up tasting last year.

Vinadeis, France's largest wine producer, will also make its debut and Spanish region, Camara de Alava, will exhibit for the first time.

Wines from Germany will feature the Top 50 Wines of Germany list with a focus on Sekt (sparkling) and the 'Pinot trio': Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc.

"Over the past few years the Pinot trio has been thriving in German soils and we're seeing some really interesting examples coming into the UK - Germany is now the world's largest producer of Pinot Blanc," Nicky Forrest, MD of Wines of Germany UK, said.

"Our Berlin bar will serve as a dynamic and interesting hub for our importers and producers where they can meet customers and prospective and have a base at the fair,"

The London Wine Fair returns to the London Olympia on Monday 22and Wednesday 24May.

For details on exhibiting, contact or visit