Best of the rest
Published:  14 May, 2010

The fair offers plenty of opportunity to catch up with what’s going on in the less glamorous and untapped corners of the wine world, with exhibitors present from South America, far-flung corners of Europe and the Middle East. Here are some of those highlights, plus a quick guide to companies providing ancillary services to the wine trade.

Central and eastern EuropeSeveral producers will be appearing under the Austrian Wine Marketing Board’s banner. Leo Hillinger will be showing a selection of wines produced close to the Neusiedler Lake, near the Hungarian border. The region has a microclimate of mild winters and long sunny hours, and Hillinger’s 50ha produce white wines including Welschriesling, Grüner Veltliner, Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay. Reds include Zweigelt, St Laurent and Pinot Noir.

House of Esterházy has been making wine in Burgenland since the 17th century and will be showing traditional Austrian varieties plus wines from global grape varieties, produced at it its state-of-the art Trausdorf winery, opened in 2006.

The Rabl Winery can proudly boast of being named Winery of the Year in Sweden’s top wine magazine last year. There will be a chance to experience its award-winning Riesling 2008 and Riesling Kamptall 2008, Weiss­burgunder, Zweigelt and Grüner Veltliner bag-in-box.

Nier Fine Wines started out as family-owned wine merchant in 1994, but the company has now bought its own wine estate in Mönchhof, Burgenland. The company has already begun making its own white, red and sweet Prädikat wines. Stand I50/I60??Light As A Feather is a new range of 5.5% abv Bulgarian wines, made by Domaine Boyar and available through Ehrmanns. The range has an rrp of £2.99 and was created in response to demand for lighter wines for lunchtime drinking or “a midweek tipple”. Stand J35??The Chamber of Commerce of Croatia’s collective presence at the fair triples this year with wine producers including Belje, Zdjelarevic, Matoseviec and Roxanich in attendance. Krauthaker will be showing wines made from Grasevina (its version of Welschrielsing), Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Merlot. The wines are being sold in the UK through Coe Vintners. An introductory masterclass to the country will be held at the fair. Stand K62??Wines from Moravia and Bohemia will all be under one roof at the national stall of wines from the Czech Republic. Wines from the Templárské co-operative and sparkling producer Bohemia Sekt will feature. The country is best known for white wines but claims to have been making great strides in reds. Stand I71??Myliko will be exhibiting a number of new Hungarian wines, including Zenit, Grüner Veltliner, Pinot Noir. There will also be a Pinot Noir rosé to taste alongside more established varieties such as Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, plus some sparklers. Stand L10??Romanian Winegrowers will be revealing the results of an initiative to establish a Hero Selection of the country’s wines chosen by a panel of industry experts, including MWs. They form the first part of a Taste a New Romania campaign, designed to put the country back on the international winemaking map. “There has been such huge investment and staggering increases in quality over the past few years that there’s finally a story to tell,” says UK spokesman Paul Evans. Stand E30/E40??Russian wine will be at the fair for the first time from Abrau-Durso and its portfolio of sparkling wines. It claims to be the only Russian wine using traditional-method sparkling wine production on a commercial scale. It will show demi-sec, brut and rosé wines made from Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling. The line-up includes Imperial Cuvée L’Art Nouveau and Imperial Collection Vintage Brut. Stand Q10??Caroline Gilby MW will be holding informal 30-minute presentations at 11am and 2pm every day, on the Wines of Slovenia stand. The talks will focus on the themes Taking on New Zealand, and on eastern Slovenia and Collio and Beyond for the west of the country. All the country’s winemakers at the fair will be on hand to answer questions and suggest further wines to taste. Stand H70??Slovenian winery Dveri-Pax will be offering fair-goers a taste of wines from the regions of Maribor, Jeruzalem, Radgona and Kapela. The line-up will include the company’s flagship Sipon, a Furmint variety. Stand J69?UruguaySeveral producers will be appearing under the umbrella of Wines of Uruguay. The family-run Pisano winery will be showing wines made from Torr--?ontés, Chardonnay, Viognier, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Petit Verdot, as well as the country’s national grape, Tannat. The Pisano vineyards are close to the Rio de la Plata, 25km north of capital Montevideo, a sunny but cool Atlantic climate. Pisano exports its wines to 40 countries.

Establecimiento Juanicó will be showing its acclaimed Preludio Barrel Select which is listed at several top British restaurants including the Fat Duck and the Savoy Grill. Owned and run by the Deicas family, Juanicó has 250ha under vine in the Canelones region producing 70% red and 30% white grapes, with some wines aged in a stash of 600 French and US oak barrels.

Bodegas Carrau managing director Javier Carrau and vineyards manager Marcos Carrau will be at the fair to show visitors a range including Amat Tannat and, Ysern Tannat-Tannat – a blend of wine from two regions. There are also Pinot Noir, Tannat, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay varieties under the Juan Carrau label. Stand Q25?Middle East Winemaker Eyal Rotem will be showing wines from Israel’s Clos de Gat winery on the Maison Sichel stand. Robert Parker has acclaimed the producer’s “excellent Bordeaux blends, as well as interesting Syrah and white wines”. Stand G55 ?Lebanese wine producer Chateau Musar is celebrating its 80th anniversary and members of the owning Hochar family and winemaker Tarek Sakr will be in attendance for a Musar masterclass on the Thursday of the fair. Highlights for tasting on the stand are the recently released Chateau Musar Red 2003 and the new Musar Jeune range from vineyards in the mountains of Lebanon, and billed by the company as “aromatic and intense”. Stand R74??Other trade servicesInspiration is a new synthetic packaging concept from Aisapack (above), based in Switzerland, for single-serve wines and spirits, which claims to be shatterproof, 95% lighter than glass and has a tamper-evident screwcap. Stand Q9??Birchgrove Products specialises in accessories including corkscrews, Le Nez du Vin wine aromas, decanters, glasses and ice buckets. Stand G9??Bruni Glass will be promoting its services providing glass containers for wine,?spirits, oil and vinegar, including its new Lola range, which has a wave effect on the bottle shoulder. Stand J65??Bag-in-box specialist CRP Print & Packaging will be unveiling an innovation in the boxed wine market.

Stand H35??The TE tamper-evident screwcap and Moss screwcap for sparkling wines will be on view at the Guala Closures stand. Stand H6??Kingsland Wine & Spirits will be showcasing its 300g bottle, developed in partnership with Quinn Glass and adopted by Tesco. Stand L60

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