The Australia Trade Tasting, featuring more than 700 Australian wine from 170 producers, returned to London last week as Wine Australia’s first in-person event in the UK since COVID-19 and the signing of the Australia-UK free trade agreement (FTA).

With 54 exhibitor tables the tasting gave Australian winemakers a valuable opportunity to connect with UK wine trade.

Wine Australia Chief Executive Officer Dr Martin Cole said: “We’re super excited to have kicked off our first in-person event in the UK after a two-year hiatus. And in addition to showcasing our usual favourites, it was great to see 100 wines from new producers seeking distribution in market.

“The UK is Australia’s top wine market by value and volume, and the Australia-UK FTA (once ratified) will eliminate tariffs and pave the way for both wine markets to thrive in the COVID-19 recovery.

“The Connect initiative we launched in mid-2021 has gone some way to keeping producers connected with global trade during the pandemic, with more than 8000 registrants worldwide signing up for virtual tastings, panel discussions and ‘Australian Wine Discovered’ education sessions over the past 12 months.

“And while it’s expected that virtual and hybrid events will remain a prominent part of trade shows going forward, there’s still no substitute for in-person interactions,” Dr Cole said.

Wine Australia’s Regional General Manager of the UK and Europe Laura Jewell MW added: “There was a fantastic atmosphere at the Australia Trade Tasting, with a lot of energy and enthusiasm, and it was great to see guests discovering new wines and renewing old acquaintances.

“The tasting was a much-needed opportunity for trade to get up-to-date on Australian wine and catch up with distributors.”

In June, Australian wineries will join the London Wine Fair and Aspen Food and Wine Classic, where they hope to continue building meaningful connections with industry professionals.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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