Following another successful event that featured more wines than ever before, the Big Fortified Tasting is back on 23rd April 2020, a date selected to avoid Easter school holidays and to avoid any clash for exhibitors and visitors also planning to attend the Jerez Fair too. We very much hope to see an even stronger representation from the Andalusian producers in 2020!
The 2019 show had our largest number of exhibitors so far. Many friends of the show returned to London and were joined by a number of producers attending for the first time. We were delighted to welcome two producers from the Azores island of Pico who had to take a boat ride, three flights, a train journey and a Tube trip to get to Church House. We also had the pleasure of welcoming the winemaking team from the community owned vineyards of Villa Oeiras in Carcavelos and the all-female team from CAF Madeira. We hear rumours that the team from CAF may be seen again soon if you are a fan of the Joe Fattorini and Amelia Singer TV series the Wine Show.
It was also very rewarding to have worked closely with Extenda and the Consejo Regulador de Jerez with the result we were able to host 13 Andalusian producers at the show, our largest number yet, and to facilitate a Masterclass which covered several different styles of Andalusian wines under the expert guidance of César Saldaña.
In all, our visitors were offered the opportunity to
• participate in 4 masterclasses covering Andalusia, Madeira, White Port and Late Bottled Vintage Port.
• meet 62 producers and UK agents covering fortified wines from Australia, Carcavelos, the Douro Valley, Jerez, Madeira, Malaga, Montilla-Moriles, Pico and Setúbal
• taste a total of 345 different fortified wines that included Andalusia (90 wines), Madeira (57 wines), Port (170 wines) and 28 wines from other regions.
For the first time we hosted a Feature Table, which this year allowed Port producers to showcase their vintage wines from 2015, 2016 and 2017. Following the success of this table in 2019, it will return in 2020, featuring a range of Vermouth fortified wines – a category which we have been watching with interest as it has grown over the last two to three years.
We were delighted to welcome so many different elements of the on-trade, off-trade, hospitality trade and media to the event in 2019. Our visitors represented both the traditional businesses such as restaurants, hotels, clubs, supermarkets and wine merchants (from the internationally renowned names to the local specialist retailers) through to the more diverse ends of the trade such as airlines and cruise lines. In short, if you sell, serve or write about fortified wines, the BFT is the show for you.
Please put the date in your diary (23rd April, 2020) and watch out for the registration process in early 2020!