Awards highlight Spanish wines

OLN initiatives have helped put two generic wine bodies in the shortlist for an award for contribution to the independent wine trade.

Wines from Spain and the OLN New Wave Spanish Wine Awards have been shortlisted for the inaugural Specialist Importers Trade Tasting award, as has the Rioja Wine Information Centre - partly thanks to its Rioja retailer of the year competition, run with OLN.

Others in the shortlist include New Zealand Winegrowers, for its 2006 competition for independent retailers and its support of the Drayton Bird marketing seminar for independent merchants.

Guardian columnist Victoria Moore has been shortlisted for giving her readers the chance to e-mail her personally for a list of independent stockists of the wines she writes about, and wine writer Tom Cannavan has been nominated for his Wine Pages website.

SITT organiser Judy Kendrick said: "Since we started SITT, we have endeavoured to continually be seen as an innovative and radical alternative to other wine trade environments. We want to be instrumental in raising awareness of the needs of the independent merchant and the specialist importer, and we want to reward an individual, body or company who has significantly contributed, or has committed to contribute something extra to this sector of the drinks business."

The award will be presented at the London tasting on Feb 28. For a full preview of the event, see overleaf.