Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Fair 2010, China

The 3rd edition of Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair, last from November 4-6 , at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, attracted close to 700 exhibitors from 29 countries and regions, showcase a wide variety of wine, spirits and other alcoholic beverages, along with wine accessories and equipment. The nations with the largest overseas presence at the fair include Australia, France, Italy and Spain, which are represented by a combined total of more than 370 exhibitors.

This year the fair is honored to invite Australia as a partner country, which isthe third-largest supplier of wine to Hong Kong, has 69 exhibitors at the fair. Among the many Australia activities taking place at the fair, a key highlight was the Vino Syrah/Shiraz Forum which gather renowned vineyards producing Shiraz. Companies from Australia, Chile, the United States and more was participate. There was many interactive seminars introducing the different wine-producing regions of Australia, and the wine-tasting sessions and workshops allow participants to learn more about Australian wine.

The Wine & Spirits Fair is more than just an elite trading platform for wine; the event is also a showcase of market expertise that attract buyers, producers, sommeliers, hoteliers, restauranteurs, importers and distributors. There is also far more to experience than just wine as the Fair also features spirits, craft beers, cocktails and other beverages that reflect world culture.

Some 65 buying missions from 41 countries and regions was participated in, representing nearly 2,000 buyers from companies such as Australia’s ILG Supplier Co-operative, France’s Millesima, India’s Sula Selections and major chain stores such as Lawson Inc from Japan and LOTTE from South Korea.

The fair deliver an incomparable platform of top-tier wine and spirits from across the globe and remains the perfect stage for sourcing extraordinary vintages, catering to global buyers on the search for greatness from production to sales.

The three days of intense trading among global business interests and building of interpersonal relationship, information-gathering and the furtherance of international wine culture. The event also places a strong focus on wine-related services, investment, logistics and training.

Industry trends
This year, Hong Kong overtaking London become the second-largest centre for wine auctions in the world, only behind New York. Wine appreciation is a rising trend in Asia, as the demand for wine remains strong and consumers being increasingly wine savvy. The optimistic business outlook will continue to encourage wine trade across the Pacific Ocean and fuel the vibrant wine market.

Since the Hong Kong government eliminated wine duties in 2008, Hong Kong’s wine sector has taken off. Hong Kong is turning into a regional wine-trading hub and becoming a wine gateway to the Chinese mainland.

As a duty-free port with good air connectivity and excellent storage facilities, Hong Kong is globally recognised as the most cost-effective wine distribution hub. Wine merchants worldwide favour Hong Kong as a launch pad to expand their business into Asia and the mainland.

Manufacturers need to have effective promotional channels, while buyers should adapt to market trends and address the needs of consumers, As Hong Kong provides world-class exhibition and trade services, Hong Kong’s trade fairs remain the top choice for suppliers and buyers.

In particular, Hong Kong has become a platform for trading wine with the mainland, which has long been the largest market for wines re-exported from the city. As the facilitation measures have now been extended to all customs districts, wine traders enjoy faster customs clearance and greater certainty when re-exporting wines through Hong Kong.

Adding to Hong Kong’s advantages such as advanced infrastructure, transportation networks and experienced industry professionals, the new measures further bolster Hong Kong’s standing as a wine trading hub by attracting more global wine traders to access the mainland market through the city.

The fair also features special sections, including those focused on Liquor & Beverage Products, Wine Accessories & Equipment and Wine Services. One section, Friends of Wine, showcases items that complement wine, including baked products, confectionery, biscuits and pasta.

Wine storage and management was also under the spotlight, with representatives from the Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency talking about their recently launched Wine Storage Management Systems Certification Scheme. Those behind such accredited facilities as Crown Wine Cellars, DHL and Supply Chain Solutions speak about their best practices.

The star products on display include:
Jebsen Fine Wines, a wine-fair exhibitor, promote two Australian wineries at the fair – Twinwoods and Penfolds. Jebsen has invested in Twinwoods, a relatively new Western Australia winery. Penfolds is among the country’s most notable wineries.

Italian Wine Merchants Hong Kong, an importer of wines from Bodega Charcra in Argentina and Movia in Slovenia, was exhibit at the fair, the two wineries adopt a natural wine-making method

Global Link Winery is an agent for a number of Italian wines, including those from Cantine Giacomo Montresor, which was selected this year’s best winery in Italy. The winery bottles’ special design allows customers to keep the labels for re-purchasing.

Special Events
Australia is this year’s Partner Country. Highlighting the fair’s many Australian activities, Friday morning’s Vino Syrah/Shiraz Forum will feature renowned Shiraz producers from Australia, Chile, the United States and elsewhere.

The fair offers more than 30 side activities, including the Italian Cuisine World Summit sponsored by Vinitaly. The summit features culinary demonstrations and wine at the Italian Pavilion throughout the fair. Guest master chefs, many of them from Michelin-star restaurants, reveal their food preparation secrets at cooking classes, offering visitors a chance to sample their creations along with some fine Italian wine.

The Asia Top Sommeliers’ Summit, November 5 , bring together leading sommeliers from around the world. On the afternoon, Wine Industry Conference offer insights on topics such as wine production on the Chinese mainland. As well, a series of master classes are being organised by the Institute of Masters of Wine, the Wine & Spirit Education Trust and the Asia Wine Service and Education Centre.

The second edition of the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition returns, in collaboration with the London International Wine & Spirit Competition. Some 1,300 wines were entered this year, and international guest judge is Tim Atkin, an award-winning wine writer. Best Wine with Sashimi is a new addition to the wine-and-food-pairing competition, alongside the four existing categories: Best Wine with Dim Sum, Kung Pao Chicken, Braised Abalone and Peking Duck. The award presentation was held during tonight’s gala dinner.

Public Day
The fair open to the public, 18 and above, on the last day, November 6. Public visitors was able take part in The Most Beloved Wine voting game, with the award presentation ceremony taking place the same day. Visitors can also gain insights at several seminars, ranging from How to Build a Winning Wine Collection to Australian Wine.

In addition to wine tastings and master classes, the Wine Gallery features a wide variety of wine, wine accessories and books from around the world, with a focus on Australia. On a first-come-first-served basis, public visitors may receive a free Lucaris crystal wine glass.

In conjunction with the fair, some 100 participating restaurants are waiving their corkage charges through 14 November, with a coupon that can be obtained from the fair’s Visitor Promotion Counter. Members of Asia Miles was able to enjoy up to 1,000 complimentary miles when they purchase wine or spirits from exhibitors at the fair on November 6.

Established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body dedicated to creating opportunities for Hong Kong’s businesses. With more than 40 offices globally, including 13 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China, Asia and the world. With 50 years of experience, the HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to provide companies, particularly SMEs, with business opportunities on the mainland and in international markets, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and digital channels including the media room.