SITT promises to be the most productive day you spend out of the office all year

Independent retailers can discover a wealth of intriguing wines and spirits produced by small, family-run operations at next week’s Specialist Importers Trade Tastings.

SITT has been revitalised since joining Agile Media and 30% of the specialist exhibitors pouring their wines at the London and Manchester tastings are new to the event.

It brings together the boutique and bijou wine producers and independent importers targeting the on- and off-trades. Expect to find exciting, hand-crafted quality, by passionate small-scale producers. 

Organiser Judy Kendrick said: “You can be 100% assured that all exhibitors are specialists in their fields: a region, a country or a style of wine.

“The wines at SITT have the quality your company needs and they are specifically chosen with independent on and off trade businesses in mind.

“With masterclasses and business workshop to choose from too, SITT will be the most productive day you spend out of the office all year.

“Whether you are looking for quirky or classic wines, you’ll be sure to discover them at SITT.”

Exhibitors are carefully vetted to ensure that only smaller importers, often specialising in one or a few regions and countries from around the world, are included.

The idea is that these suppliers are committed to provenance and quality, providing the perfect hunting ground for new and exciting wines to add to your list.

Kendrick added: “SITT has always been an essential day in the tasting calendar and now, with the added value Agile Media is offering to visitors and exhibitors it will be the best day’s work for everyone this year. The new features will make SITT more of a business event than ever, offering market data, business seminars and tasting workshops.”

Independent retailers have always found it to be an unmissable event, due to the sheer breadth of interesting wines of offer.

Simon Evans, managing director at The Naked Grape, said: “There are many tasting events across the year but SITT is always top for me. There is no other event so well suited to the independent wine merchant, and that’s why I always look forward to SITT.”

At the last event indies reported their pleasure at being able to discover plenty of hidden gems. “It’s been so beneficial for us being such a small independent as we can find lots of wines in one place,” said Adrian Harvey, owner at A.P. Harvery Wines at the last event. “Most producers I’ve spoken to don’t even know the town we're based in, so it gives us the market edge – no one else will be selling these wines. We’ve definitely found at least 10-15 wines we wouldn’t have found otherwise.”

Lynda Ali, buyer at Falcon Food & Spirits, added: “We met some amazing winemakers and found many unique wines. SITT brings quality products to the market. It’s a great event.”

In addition to a series of business-focussed briefings exploring opportunities for both on and off-trade, the Spring editions of SITT are bringing key commercial trends in the wine world to the fore, exploring the rise and rise of Grenache, the new face of Hungary and the exciting new wave of wines from Chile.

Wine critic Simon Woods will present a masterclass titled Learning to Love Grenache, examining the quality and diversity of this unsung hero of the Mediterranean and New World.

Educator and consultant Raul Diaz also leading a discovery tasting entitled Chile’s new wine frontier: the south, focusing on the fantastic wines coming out of the cooler south of the country, from smaller and independent producers.

SITT Manchester takes place at The Principal Hotel on February 26, and SITT London is at Hackney Town Hall on February 28.

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