Independent wine merchants looking for new wines offering a point of difference can feast their tastebuds on Croatian orange wine, Slovenian sparkling wine and many more undiscovered gems at SITT.

The tasting takes place at the Lancashire Country Cricket Club in Manchester on February 27 and RHS Lindley Hall in London on March 1.

It is a crucial tasting for both new and seasoned trade professionals, across the independent on- and off-trade sectors, and there is still time for indies to register.

Among the highlights will be the Croatian Fine Wines stand. Business development director Craig Duggan told OLN: “We have always had a great time at the event and it has been a pleasure to offer the trade new and undiscovered wines to taste, and to test the market with new producers. This year we are focusing on orange wine, which is super-trendy at the moment. We are also showing our very first Slovenian sparklers, made by one of the country’s most respected, top-end producers. We have some award-winning wines. The quality is really coming through from Croatia and it will be an exciting event.”

The supplier has been exhibiting at SITT for the past few years and said it is an essential diary date for new and emerging regions – and for the buyers seeking them out.

Duggan said: “We specialise in undiscovered wines to offer a point of difference for the trade. We have always found SITT one of the most lucrative events and it gives people the opportunity to try new wines.

“People are looking for new and dynamic wines that will change their lists and we think Croatian wines can do that. The indigenous varietals we have will offer a point of difference for retailers.

“We absolutely go for independents and the on-trade. Croatia has a high domestic market and does not export the volumes to go into the big supermarkets. That is not what we are trying to do. We are telling the stories of the wines and the winemakers, and independents and the on-trade can explain to consumers why the wines are special.

“Our largest growth has come through SITT. We show new vintages to the trade and get them excited about new wines. Without SITT we would be stuck. Nothing else offers that.”

When asked what his advice would be to buyers on the fence about attending, he said: “Take the chance, go with it and don’t hold back. You won’t know until you try. SITT is one of the most valuable events in the UK for any producer and crucial for new countries and undiscovered wines.”