Sussex drinks producers took centre stage at LWC’s wine and spirits trade tasting at the Hilton Brighton Metropole, writes Nick Mosley.

LWC is the UK’s largest independent drinks wholesaler with a wide portfolio of world wines, spirits and beers sitting alongside British craft and small-batch producers.

The invitation-only trade event featured more than 400 wines and in excess of 50 producer and brand stands, attracting around 800 guests from the hospitality industry.

Vineyards included Court Garden from Ditchling, Rathfinny Estate from Alfriston, Bolney Estate and Louis Pommery from Hampshire.

Miriam Watson, brand ambassador of the famous Vranken-Pommery Champagne house in Reims, was proudly pouring its recently launched English sparkling wine grown on 40 hectares of prime land at Hampshire’s Pinglestone Estate.

“Following the pandemic lockdowns, we were absolutely delighted to be part of the first major trade show in two years,” said Miriam.

“It was wonderful to reconnect with so many loyal customers and also meet new ones.

“We showcased our English sparkling wine – Louis Pommery England – alongside our Champagne Pommery Brut Royal, both made by the same chef de cave, Clement Pierlot.

“Both wines generated interest and I really enjoyed the buzz of the day.”

Sussex distillers were represented by Brighton Gin and Ditchling Gin, with both stands attracting a throng of eager tasters throughout the day.

Locally based craft brewers included Longman Brewery, Bedlam Brewery and Brighton Bier.

“It was wonderful to part of a vibrant trade event again after the last couple of years,” said Stephen Whitehurst, co-owner of Brighton Bier.

“The energy and excitement from everyone was palpable and it was great to be able to talk to old friends and new customers about the exciting changes we’ve made at the brewery – including our refurbishment – and our beers, including Brighton Pilsner.”

Danny Hoskins, sales and marketing director of Bedlam Brewery near Ditchling Common agreed.

“The quality and quantity of customers was fantastic and LWC certainly organised a well attended event,” he said.

“We saw many existing customers and plenty of interest from potential customers seeking out our award wining pilsner and Wilde East Coast Pale Ale that we were showcasing.

“The general feeling was very buoyant and positive for the year ahead.”