terça-feira, 6 de novembro de 2018

There's a "big fortified tasting" every year in the heart of London

    When the 2019 b.f.t. or big fortified tasting cycle begins, with the booking opening for exhibitors and all those interested in participating in this important exhibition, which is intended only for professional visitors (on trade, off trade and press), in time to organize and plan next year's activities and agenda, let's get to know a little better this event.

with permission the b.f.t.

    The b.f.t., what is it all about?

    It's an event held annually in the center of London, which began in 2010 and year after year quickly became a huge success. Presently a world reference and the largest show specialized and exclusively dedicated to worldwide fortified wines. A not to be missed exhibition, an excellent opportunity to get to know and learn more about the great diversity and the different fortified wine styles, also to reinforce its notoriety and recognition, positioning and quality, which is always to be valued. This promotion occasion is directed not only to the british market, but also to a much wider scope given the visibility that this show has achieved.
    It is visited by interested people whose purpose is to taste and know this special wines better, without the dispersion and lack of visibility that always happens in the general wine shows that are extended to all wine types.

    This is an event that has as privileged target the professional visitors, connected to areas such hotel and catering, importers, distribution companies, restaurants and sommeliers, wine critics and journalists and general press.

with permission the b.f.t.

    The records that define the b.f.t., last edition message:

    The last b.f.t. was its 8th edition, held last May 2018.
    In order to better understand the b.f.t. current scope, let us consider the following data:

    In the last edition there were a total of 637 registrations, of which more than 400 visited the event;
    Approximately the visitors were divided as follows;
  • 45% off-trade, large wine merchants such as Berry, Bros. & Rudd, Corney & Barrow, as well as other smaller wine merchants as Vintage Wine & Port, Oxford Wine company and retailers such as The Wine Society, Waitrose and Fortnum & Mason;
  • 27% on-trade, restaurants such as "The Fat Duck", "Bar Douro", "Petrus" and "Tate", bars such as "Ritz", "Wine Social & Tapas" and "The Port House", London clubs and university colleges;
  • the remaining 28% was made up of trade and general press (among others, Sunday Times, The Independent, Yorkshire Post, Decanter and Fine Wine Magazine), wine writers and bloggers (including Julia Harding from Jancis Robinson's Purple Pages, Richard Mayson, Alex Liddell and Neal Martin), educators from WSET as well as independent wine educators, restaurant wine list consultants, PR companies and leading London auction houses.
with permission the b.f.t.

    The national fortified wine producers in detail

    There was a reasonably strong presence of portuguese producers in the last edition as well as a variety of wine styles, with a wide presentation of the various types of fortified wines produced in Portugal, with a special emphasis on the Madeira wines representation, with the participation of 6 producing and exporting houses, with the fundamental support and co-financing of the IVBAM (Institute of Wine, Embroidery and Handicraft of Madeira) which thus intends to reinforce its presence in the british market that in 2017 was the most important in value for Madeira wine.

    Some Port wine houses have presented in first hand experience their latest 2016 vintage Ports, the most recent classic vintage Port declaration: Quinta das Lamelas, Sandeman, Offley, Quevedo, Barros, Burmester, Cálem and Kopke.

with permission the b.f.t.

     From a total of 290 wines presented at the exhibition (from Portugal, Spain, France and Australia), 206 (about 71%) were wines from portuguese wine producers and were thus distributed:

    144 Port wines, 50 Madeira wines, 9 moscatél de Setúbal wines and 3 other fortified wines, which in turn represented a total of 55 wine brands, 24 Port wine brands, 7 Madeira wine brands, 3 moscatél de Setúbal brands and 1 other wine brand, presented by a total of 43 producers, 18 for Port wine, 6 for Madeira wine, 2 for moscatél de Setubal and 1 for other fortified wine style.

    Besides the wine presentation and tastings, the programe also includes interesting, informative and enriching special tastings with commented presentations, the Masterclasses, which included among others not less interesting, "Niepoort, Dawn of a new vintage", in which Dirk Nieport explained the art of combining the blend of the different components from the same vintage, to create a vintage Port, and "Barbeito: new challenges and projects, from 1981 to 2017", a trip through the different categories and styles of this producer's Madeira wines.

with permission the b.f.t.

    We must also mention that contrary to the commitment of the IVBAM already mentioned, the IVDP (Douro and Port Wine Institute) unfortunately has so far not considered this event as an opportunity to promote Port wine, not so much for the major and renown houses, but above all in supporting the small bottling producers who would have an excellent opportunity here to present themselves and their wines, enriching the Port wine presentation diversity, extending the proposals to other Port wine profiles.

    The same is true for the participation of other portuguese fortified wine producers, some unique and original wines, I remember for example the Carcavelos wine and the incentive and support of the Oeiras City Council, which has done so much to ensure that this historic fortified wine does not disappear.

    The 2019 b.f.t. edition

   In 2019 the main focus of the organization is to increase the number of visitors of the event, which will remain only for professional visitors and not open to the general public and individual consumers, except for the participant's guests.
    The date scheduled for the 2019 edition is April 16th, earlier than previous editions, but so scheduled to ensure  a greater agenda compatibility and so the possibility of more producers being present.

    It is also important to mention that the organization takes into account the special cases of the small producers for individualized solutions of space sharing in the show.

with permission the b.f.t.

    The opinions...

    In the opinion of Óscar Quevedo (Quevedo Port Wine), a participant in the b.f.t. last edition: "participating in the b.f.t. is the best way to get people to taste and display our Port wines to the UK press and buyers. An event immaculately organized and with a huge focus on Port wine. An event for which the IVDP should very seriously consider the organization of a joint participation.".

    Maria Pinto (Quinta das Lamelas/Lamelas Wines), who participated together with another Douro producer, Quinta do Mourão, states that "we are very satisfied with the event, from the organization and visibility to the public invited", and that "we recommend it to other producers, mainly the smaller Douro based producers.".

    "I find it exceptionally good.", Dirk Niepoort.

    "People are coming here already with the frame of mind that they are going to taste fortified wines and I think this is very good news.", Johnny Graham (Churchill's).

   To find out more and register b.f.t. 2019: thebft.co.uk

   The photos of the present publication were kindly provided by the b.f.t. to whom we are grateful.


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