In a whirlwind of wining, dining and catching up with long-term friends and associates, some of the Saint Clair family swapped emails for handshakes when they attended the annual London Wine Fair this week.
Hundreds of wine producers, distributors, importers, wholesalers and brand and business owners exhibited their goods and services at the show, which attracts 10,000 wine professionals each year – the largest wine trade event in the UK.
Saint Clair founders Neal and Judy Ibbotson and Saint Clair’s consultant winemaker Matt Thomson attended the event which was held at the Olympia in London from July 2-4.
Judy, who manned the Saint Clair tasting table for most of the three days, said the show was a great opportunity to catch up with their business partners in the northern hemisphere, many of whom they’ve known for many years.
“We caught up with a lot of the distributors and retailers who sell our wines, lots of them were very enthusiastic about our wines and keen to try some of the varieties they do not stock.”
One of the highlights of their trip was dining out at a Persian restaurant in London with their UK distributors Hallgarten Druitt, she said.
Neal, who likes to keep a finger on the pulse of Saint Clair’s markets, enjoyed catching up with distributors new and old from Norway, Sweden, Ireland, Portugal, Finland and Holland.
It was encouraging to hear reports that the UK economy was showing signs of improving after many years of downturn as a result of the global financial crisis, he said.