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WineStars: a Dragon’s Den for the wine world

An X Factor-style talent show will give wineries the chance to compete for UK listings at this year's London International Wine Fair.

Billed as a cross between hit television shows X Factor and Dragons’ Den, WineStars is designed to improve communication between wineries and buyers.

Ten finalists will have only minutes to pitch their wines and business plans to judges, as well as to journalists and bloggers, at the annual London International Wine Fair in London’s Docklands later this month.

Three winners, as chosen by the judges, will get a UK trade listing. Only wineries not already represented in the UK can enter.

Organiser Robert Joseph – who also produces wine – told Decanter.com the aim of the competition was to encourage wineries to create a point-of-difference via marketing. ‘There’s a failure to communicate in the wine industry,’ he said.

‘When a wine tastes good and it’s sold at the appropriate price, all you’ve done is qualify for the marathon. Everything else is about how you get round the course.’

Wineries can enter free up to 10 May. A 100-strong shortlist will then be published on social media.

Ten wineries will make the final on 24 May. Panel judges include Justin Howard-Sneyd, global buying director for Direct Wines and Laithwaites, and Joan Torrents, wine director at Mitchells & Butlers.

Written by Chris Mercer

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