This year's London International Wine Fair (LIWF) takes place on 18-20 May at ExCel, London, and is celebrating its 30th anniversary. Besides all the major New and Old World international pavilions, there will be some new territories exhibiting including Romania, Russia and Slovenia. Joining LIWF is Distil, now in its third year, which will feature new products including a British vodka.
Focal points for New Zealand Winegrowers (Stand F20) include Pinot Noir, Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc, with producers illustrating the diversity of styles between regions and within Marlborough itself. O-I New Zealand will launch its new lightweight glass bottle moulds which are sustainable and made from renewable energy sources with a high recycled content. New Zealand Winegrowers will also host a masterclass at 5pm on Wednesday 19 May to match New Zealand Aromatic wines with Oriental food.
Producers from across the regions of Moravia and Bohemia will present a range of award-winning wines at Wines from the Czech Republic (Stand I71) and include Bohemia Sekt SA, the Czech Republic's leading producer of sparkling wine, and owner of still wine brands including Vino Mikulov and Chateau Bzenec. Templářské Sklepy Cejkovice, the Czech Republic's fourth-biggest co-operative will also be presenting a wide range of wines made using modern production techniques, but aged in ancient cellars.
The new expanded Riesling & Co room from Wines of Germany (Stand L20) will showcase a range of naturally lower alcohol wines, as well as a selection of wines from "Generation Riesling" - Germany's young, internationally experienced, highly skilled new wave of winemakers. The Riesling & Co room will feature a broad range of wines selected in a blind tasting by an independent British panel and aims to reflect the best Germany has to offer, highlighting fresh, balanced, naturally lower alcohol wines.
Wines of Romania (Stand E30/E40) will present a range of wines from some of its top producers, including Agricola Stirbey, Cramele Recas, Halewood Romania, Vinarte, and more. Wines on show are made from a diverse array of grapes, including many indigenous varieties such as Grasa, Feteasca Alba, Cramposie, Tamaioasa, and more.
The existing award-winning gin from Sacred Spirits (Stand C31) will be joined by a new Sacred Spirits Vodka, produced at Ian Hart's microdistillery in Highgate, North London. Sacred Gin contains 12 different botanicals, including Boswellia Sacra (a type of Frankincense, from which the brand name is derived), each of which is distilled separately in glassware under vacuum at very low temperatures, which is designed to yield a lush, fresh, aromatic distillate. The Sacred Vodka is produced in the same way, and is flavoured with cubeb, nutmeg, and frankincense.
From Global Premium Brands SA (Stand C70) comes Gin Mare, a new super-premium spirit from the Mediterranean aimed at London's burgeoning tapas scene. Inspired by its provenance, the spirit's signature botanicals are the flavours synonymous with the region: Arbequina olives, rosemary, basil and thyme. In addition, the gin also incorporates juniper, coriander, cardamom and citrus. All the botanicals are macerated for over 36 hours and distilled separately before being blended by hand, other than the citrus elements (a blend of Seville oranges, lemons and mandarins) which are macerated in clay jars for a year, for a bold and rich profile.