Trade tastings fall victim to Covid

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Hopes that the 2022 trade tasting season might return to some sort of normality have been dealt some early blows.

Wines of Chile, Wine Australia and New Zealand Winegrowers have decided to postpone their events scheduled for January and February due to the Covid situation.

On January 10, Awin Barratt Siegel said that its French Portfolio Tasting, scheduled for January 19 at 67 Pall Mall, was being moved to a later date, yet to be finalised.

It has also been confirmed that the Salon des Vins de Loire in Angers will not now take place on January 31-February 1. Organisers are hoping to announce a new date soon.

Organisers of other trade events due to take place in January and February are currently weighing up their options, with more cancellations possible.

Wines of Chile’s annual tasting was booked for Thursday, January 13 at the RHS Lindley Hall in London but is now expected to take place in late March.

The New Zealand tasting was due to happen on February 9 but has now been moved to Wednesday, May 4 at the RHS Lindley Hall.

UK market manager Chris Stroud said “virtual Events for New Zealand Wine Week in February will still be taking place, and we encourage everyone to participate”.

These include The Business of Wine in New Zealand webinar and a Pinot Noir Masterclass – An Exploration of our Subregions.

Anita Jackson, UK director of Wines of Chile, said: “We have been monitoring the situation over the last few weeks and, despite no further changes in government rules and restrictions concerning such events, obviously there is ongoing concern for the exceptionally high number of cases in the UK.

“In addition, travel restrictions are currently impacting the Chilean winemakers who were planning to be at the event.”

She added that “the current Covid situation here would undoubtably had an impact on the success of our event”.

The Australia Trade Tasting, which was due to take place at Lindley Hall on Tuesday, January 25, has been moved to Thursday, April 7.

Wine Australia UK regional manager Laura Jewell said: “While the situation is always changing, the safety and wellbeing of the wine community and our staff remains our top priority.

“We want everyone attending to feel safe, and we would like to ensure the best possible turnout for our importers and distributors.”

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