Low-intervention wines will be the theme of this Spring’s Specialist Importers Trade Tasting (SITT) events, which take place later this month.

The SITT Spring tastings – which take place on February 25 at The Principal, Manchester; and on February 27 at the Royal Horticultural Halls, London – are designed to help independents from the off and on-trade to connect with specialist wine importers.

To fit in with the “low-intervention” theme, wines featured at the Spring events can be organic, biodynamic, natural or “simply hand-crafted with as little intervention as possible”.

SITT founder, Judy Kendrick, said: “This topic is more than a trend: today every retailer and restaurant needs to offer their customers some of these types of wine. It is no longer just restricted to the organic specialists. This low intervention theme is important for everyone.”

The tasting event will feature a raft of low-intervention wines and alongside this there will be a panel debate at 12pm to 1pm on “Low Intervention Wines and the Benefits to your Business”.

This debate will be chaired by long-standing importer of organic wines, Jerry Lockspeiser, who will lead a panel of experts including winemaker David Baverstock of Esporao, Frederick Grappe from Dynamic Wines and Piotr Pietras MS, SITT’s on-trade Ambassador.

After this there will be a masterclass called “Tasting: Soalheiro” from 13.30 to 14.40, which will including a vertical tasting of some of Luis Cerdeira’s iconic Alvarinho wine (represented by Raymond Reynolds).

Cerdeira took over the company from his father in 2006, and in this masterclass he aims to show attendees how Vinho Verde can age using four different vintages to illustrate this, showing the “new face of Portugal”. The theme for the SITT Spring 2019 tasting will be demonstrated in this masterclass via a range of classic and low intervention wines, chosen to demonstrate the versatility of Alvarinho.

The final masterclass of the day is “Tasting: Bouchard Finlayson Verticals”, which takes place between 15:00 to 16:00.

At the Bouchard Finlayson vertical tastings (represented by Seckford Agencies), Lia Poeda, Bouchard Finlayson’s global brand ambassador, who is also a French ex-sommelier and buyer; will present a vertical tasting of both Galpin Peak Pinot Noir and Hannical, unique red blend of Italian/ French varietals (going back to 2004) from this South African boutique winery in Hemel en Aarde. Povenda will show attendees how these wines can age and why they should be a consideration for retailers or wine lists.

Confirmed producers for SITT Spring include Weinwurms, presented by third generation winemaker Georg Weinwurm. This year the producer will be introducing its Zweigelt Ried Schilling from Weinviertel, Austria.

New releases this year will include a Rioja Gran Reserva “22 Barricas” from Las Bodegas, which is described as a “complex blend of Tempranillo, Graciano, Garnacha and Mazuelo”, which then spent 30 months in new French oak, and a minumum of five years ageing in the bottle.

Seckford Agencies has a new launch from New Zealand (John Forrest, 2018 Vine Whisperer SB) and South Africa (Darling Cellars, 2016 Old Bush Vine Cinsault).

Marta Vine has five newcomers to introduce, including organic and vegan Vergel rose and white wines, while Quixotica has wines from Castilla and Leon, described by Jancis Robinson as “one of the best wines in Spain”.

Wines from Bouchard Finlayson, Soalheiro, Esporao and Dynamic Vines will also be available to taste at SITT.

Kendrick said: “If you want your shelves filled with wines that you can’t find on the high street then SITT is the place to come and find them. If you want suppliers who are experts in working with independent retailers, then again SITT is where you’ll find the best specialist importers, altogether in one place. If you are time poor, and need to juggle managing the shop with buying and making contacts I can assure you that SITT will be the best day’s busines you’ll have all year.”

The SITT events will take place between 10.30am and 5pm (5.30pm for the London event), and there will be Autumn tastings in London and Manchester in September. 

For more information and to register visit: https://www.sittastings.com/sitt2019/en/page/register-to-visit