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Preview: London Wine Fair 2021 heads online

Published:  06 May, 2021

The 40th London Wine Fair (LWF) is set to be a digital event this year, boasting a range of tastings, industry sessions, one-to-one meetings with winemakers and networking opportunities.

The event, which is being dubbed by organisers as the “most advanced virtual show”, of its kind runs from 17-19 May 2021.

Exhibitors will include the top UK agencies and generic bodies as well as several producers seeking representation in the UK for the first time.

There are in excess of 500 wineries participating, showing more than 3,000 different wines. The LWF will host more than 30 sessions, covering industry briefings, panel discussions and tasting masterclasses.

Delegates will be able to visit virtual stands of exhibitors where they can browse by wine name, grape and region, and profiles will feature images, virtual vineyard tours and tasting notes of the wines on offer. Those attending can request samples direct from exhibitors, where available, and have 50ml samples delivered straight to their door.

LWF Digital will also enable delegates to enjoy pre-booked tastings and masterclasses. And being digital does not mean that networking is not available as those attending can book and hold video meetings with exhibitors all in the platform.

Top names from the industry will take part in a series of industry talks over the three days looking at the major issues affecting the industry and the latest trends.

Miles Beale, CEO of the Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WSTA), will be hosting two panel debates on the first two mornings at 10am about the state of the industry. The sessions, called Wine Trading 2021: “Where are we?” and Wine Trading 2021: “Are we there yet”, will explore the impact of Brexit and Covid-19 on current trading conditions.

Other sessions will look at some of the emerging wine regions and current trends in the market.

A session called Indian Wine: Exploring One of the World’s Most Emerging Wine Regions has been organised by Wines in India, the UK’s first Indian specialist agency. The session is being hosted by India’s first and only Master of Wine Sonal Holland. It will explore India’s wine production, unique terroirs, the country’s winemakers and an overview of the styles of wine.

In addition, The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) will host a daily taster session at midday, designed for those looking to either embark on, or progress through, the award levels. The sessions are hosted by WSET educators and include tasting samples.

Hannah Tovey, head of LWF, said that putting on the 40th edition of the show has been a “real challenge”.

“The team has worked incredibly hard to deliver what will be the first international digital wine show of significant scale. The preview day we held specifically for the on-trade sector on 28 April – Welcome Back Wednesday – was a really good indicator of what we might expect for the fair itself,” she said.

“We had 641 high calibre on-trade visitors from the likes of 67 Pall Mall, The Ivy and The Vineyard Hotel attend the mini preview, with access to over 100 virtual stands and more than 1,300 wines.”

She added: “The digital edition will work very much as it would a live show. There will be masterclass tastings, industry briefings, on-stand meetings and tastings, new launches, networking and, most importantly, trading.”

Delegates can buy an earlybird ticket for £25. Visitors are able to book tasting masterclasses to ensure samples arrive in time, while visitors will be able to access exhibitor stands from Monday 10 May. For more information click here

The profile pages and sampling options stay live for three months after the event.