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Portuguese wine at RHS Lindley Hall, London: The annual tasting event is extremely important to WINES OF PORTUGAL because the UK is the third largest global market for Portuguese wines
(Photo: Tor Søreide)

WINES OF PORTUGAL’s annual London tasting event

The Biggest Wine Showcase Worldwide

The annual tasting event in London is WINES OF PORTUGAL’s biggest event worldwide. This year, TASTE PORTUGAL were pleased to go along and speak to some of the wine producers in attendance.

WORDS: Anna McNay|PHOTO: Tor Søreide| 4 March 2015

The Biggest Wine Showcase Worldwide

‘Portuguese wine producers need to catch these waves in order to bring their wines to the world’

THE ANNUAL WINES OF PORTUGAL London tasting event took place at RHS Lindley Hall last Thursday and TASTE PORTUGAL were pleased to attend. A day packed with information, networking, and wines of all varieties, it was certainly one not to be missed.

Carlos Campolargo attends the event every year and flew in to London for just one day especially, en route to Düsseldorf for PROWEIN. A producer of 36 different wines in total, he was featuring 10 of his best here at his stand – the maximum allowed by any one wine producer. With this year’s event focusing on Vinho Verde, Campolargo was well placed, since he believes these to be the firm favourite of the Brits and his certainly sell well.

Olga Martins, CEO of Lavradores de Feitoria, was another producer making just a short stopover in London, albeit two nights to rival Campolargo’s one. Lavradores de Feitoria has six wines for sale in the UK and a benefit of the tasting event is certainly the number of members of the press and members of private wine clubs in attendance. Apart from the WINES OF PORTUGAL event, Martins made the most of her time in London to also feature her wines at VINOTECA the previous day, as well as at the Honest Grapes club. Nothing like time well spent!

Another producer showcasing the maximum number of wines allowed was Quinta do Crasto from the Douro, which brought two whites, five reds and three Port wines. Rita Camelo, Export Manager for the winery, spoke of the annual tasting event as ‘an interesting and important event,’ which increases the awareness of Portugal and its wines. According to her, Portuguese wine producers ‘need to catch these waves in order to bring their wines to the world.’ On a more personal level, Camelo enjoyed the opportunity to discover new vintages and meet up with existing and new friends.

Sonia Vieira, the organiser of the annual tasting event, seemed pleased with how things were going. By 14:30, she had counted in 291 of an expected 400 trade visitors who, between them, would have the chance to taste some 900+ wines (although a more modest estimate suggested only 250-300 bottles would actually be opened). Vieira explained that the annual tasting event in London is extremely important to WINES OF PORTUGAL because the UK is the third largest global market for Portuguese wines. Portugal has a 2% market share in the UK and has seen an increase of 27% in table wines (Vinho Verde, white and red) since 2013. Asked what she thinks makes Portuguese wine popular in here, Vieira explains: ‘People in the UK are looking for new products that surprise them. Portugal has plenty of varieties to fulfill their wish. Also, Portuguese wines represent very good value for money.’

Another year’s successful tasting behind them and the countdown begins to 2016’s.