SITT is big success with independents

More than 600 visitors, mainly independent wine merchants, visited the Specialist Importers Trade Tastings in London and Manchester last week.

Organiser JK Marketing presented ViniPortugal with the 2008 SITT award at the event. The prize aims to encourage individuals and organisations to support the independent wine trade

and is voted for by independent suppliers and wine merchants involved in the tastings.

They recognised ViniPortugal for its £25,000 bursary scheme - which supports Portuguese wine promotions in independent wine merchants, restaurants and hotels - and for running tastings in six different cities around the UK last year.

ViniPortugal's Ana Sofia de Oliveira told OLN she was surprised and very happy to win the award.

"What we have been doing with the independents and small retailers is really because we feel

they need us to promote our wines and

they are very keen on doing this, so it is a partnership that is working very well.

"It is our award - for all the people who are really working on promoting Portugal," she said.

This year's runners up were the Sherry Institute, for its Ten Star Tapas bursary scheme helping independents to host sherry and tapas events, and Wines from Spain, for a programme helping independent shops hold in-store tastings.

Tasting table

Three from Thierry's

Golden Kaan 2007 Chenin Blanc

Recently launched in the UK, this classic SA Chenin delivers a zesty citrus finish, built

on initial notes of green berries and elderflower, with a medium-length finish from this young but easy-going wine. BR

Terra Vecchia Corsica Reserve 2006

Interesting blend of Merlot and Nielluccio, this tawny red

has redcurrants on the nose with a freshness on the palate and a deeper complexity on the finish. The blend itself offers some interesting depth,

as Nielluccio is often used as a basis for rosé. A winter wine - easily matched with a casserole or red meat dish. BR

Ravelli Prosecco Raboso

Thierry's is cleverly tapping into both the rosé and sparkling trends with this deep pink fizz, bursting with raspberry notes, just off-dry and with a clean, crisp finish. Commercial manager Matthew Dickinson describes it as a "good wine for a recession" - but don't wait for a financial downturn before you

try it. RE