Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Fair 2011, China

The 4th edition of Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair, last from November 3-5 , at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, attracted more than 930 exhibitors from 37 countries and regions, showcase a wide variety of wine, spirits and other alcoholic beverages, along with wine accessories and equipment. Georgia, Israel, Latvia, Malta, the Slovak Republic and Sweden are participating for the first time.

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.

This year the fair is honored to invite Italy as a partner country, Italy features the largest group pavilion, with more than 200 exhibitors. The Vino Sangiovese Forum is one of many activities that focus on the Partner Country. There was a special tasting area at the Vinitaly Pavilion dedicated to Italian wine education. The organiser, Veronafiere, is also offering a forum on Italian wine, seminars, sommelier-led tastings and wine-pairing cooking demonstrations. And the Gala Wine Dinner, the fair’s signature event, feature an Italian theme.

More than 19,000 buyers from around the world participated in the fourth Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair. Among the fair’s buyers are 73 buying missions from 28 countries and regions. They represent 2,750 buyers and 1,774 companies. 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
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.

Highlights
Major exhibit categories this year include: Liquor & Beverage Products; Wine Services (storage, education and packaging); Wine Accessories & Equipment; and Friends of Wine (bakery products, confectionery, seafood, pasta, etc).

This year’s highlights included a traditional Georgian wine made in ceramic jars buried underground for fermentation and the Italian wine produced to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Unity of Italy.

In addition, a Wine Investment Zone debut at the fair. The zone has attracted such industry leaders as America’s biggest auction house Acker Merrall & Condit; wine agent Berry Bros and Rudd, a royal wine supplier since 1903; Liv-Ex, the world’s only online wine-trading business; Octavian, the world’s largest wine cellar; and Wing Lung Bank, the first Hong Kong bank to provide wine loans.

Italy was showcasing two wines, one red and one white, at the Wine Fair. The two special wines were specially produced to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy. Each wine was made by blending 20 wine varietals using grapes from various regions of Italy

The Georgian Wine Association (Booth: 3G-E06) is a first-time exhibitor at the wine fair. The association hopes to make global buyers more aware of Georgia’s distinctive wine

Lorence and Company (Booth: 3D-D08) promote the Italian brand Alexander’s Rose Grappa at the fair

Kung Kai Hong & Co (Booth: 3E-D39)’s Sales & Marketing Executive Apple Kam says the company exhibit three series of Lucaris wine glasses at the fair: Tokyo Temptation, Shanghai Soul and Bangkok Bliss

Quails’ Gate Winery also take part in the fair. A selection of the Canadian company’s wine was poured at a dinner attended by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, when the royal couple visited Canada earlier this year. Featured spirits will include a bottle of Dupuy 1940 Cognac. The bottle, priced at HK$111,000, is one of only two in the world, and can be purchased at the fair.

Events
The fair presents close to 60 special events, including the Wine Industry Conference, the Asia Top Sommelier Summit, a variety of seminars, wine-tasting sessions, master classes, cocktails, a gala dinner, and the third Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition.

Highlight events including the Wine Industry Conference on November 3 , the Asia Top Sommelier Summit on November 4, featuring sommeliers from some 10 countries and regions, and the third Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition. Open to spirit categories for the first time, it has received over 1,700 applications. The competition’s guest judge, Alberto Antonini, is an Italian oenologist and wine consultant.

Public Day
The last day, November 5 , was open to the public. It include a Wine Auction and Investment Forum, along with a variety of seminars.Two “Grand Tasting of Finest Wine” sessions, one spotlighting Spain, the other Italy also take place.

Bordeaux Index , Wines from Spain and the Spanish Trade Commission (Hong Kong) offer wine rated 90 or above by noted wine critic Robert Parker.

Other events include seminars on wine auctions and investment and Italian wine appreciation, as well as cocktail demonstrations. The Most Beloved Wine voting game award presentation also take place.

Corkage-free day take place this year again. Fairgoers need only present a business card at the Visitor Promotion Counter to receive a coupon waiving the corkage charge for one bottle of wine or spirits, 3-13 November 2011, when dining at one of Hong Kong’s 109 participating restaurants.

HKTDC
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.

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