Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Fair 2012, China

The 5th Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair, last from November 8-10, at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). More than 930 exhibitors from over 30 countries and regions take part in the fair, showcase a wide variety of wine, spirits and other alcoholic beverages, along with wine accessories and equipment. Exhibitors from Azerbaijan, Denmark and Russia are first-time participants. Italy and France feature the largest group pavilions.

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 welecome some 75 buying missions from 28 countries and regions, representing more than 2,900 buyers. 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.

A wide variety of wine, spirits and other alcoholic beverages, along with wine accessories and equipment and such related services as wine logistics and training, was showcased.

Notable exhibitors include:
Exhibitors from Russia are first-time participants at the fair. Russian company Abrau-Durso (booth: 3G-C37) is featuring the sparkling rosé Cuvée Alexander II, which pairs well with Chinese cuisine, appetizers, desserts and cheese.

Japanese exhibitor Fujitakasago Shuzou Co, Ltd (booth 3F-A07) is promoting its umeshu (plum liqueur) at the fair. The product is brewed from quality plums and underground water from Mount Fuji

Japan’s top winemaker, Master Nouguchi, created Jyokigen Daiginjo [Gold Medal] fromYamada Nishiki. This exclusive Jyokigen (middle ) won the National New Sake Awards Gold Medal for the 4th consecutive year. A limited quantity is produced to ensure the best quality. Only 40 bottles are available for sale at HK$900 during the Fair

XLV is an exclusive private label created by Xavier-Louis Vuitton, eldest member of the fifth- generation Vuitton Dynasty. Cuvee XLV French Wine Ltd (Booth no.: 3D-B18) feature a number of XLV wine at the Fair

Georgian Valleys Corporation, whose Jani Red Wine comes in a horn-shaped ceramic bottle. Georgians are known to toast with real bull horns filled with wine during special celebrations.

The Merit Wine Boutique display the world’s largest bottle of Champagne. Its Armand De Brignac Champagne weighs 45kg, with a volume equivalent to 40 standard (750ml) Champagne bottles.

Branded Spirits Ltd showcase its Tequila Corralejo, made using only 100 per cent blue agave. Miss Mexico, Elisa Nájera Gualito, was on hand to promote the company’s products.

Beer is on tap, too, with Chapel Down plc bringing its Curious Brew, a lager re-fermented with Champagne yeast.

Hong Kong’s Portrait Winery Co Ltd offer its Poire Royal Brandy, made with Oregon Barlett pears. Cold-fermented, the brandy is distilled twice and aged in barrels.

Over the fair’s three days, nearly 60 events, from wine tastings and master classes to expert seminars, was presented.

Fair highlights include the Wine Industry Conference, November 8, under the theme “The Future of the Global Wine Industry – Trends and Opportunities.” The fourth Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine and Spirit Competition Award Presentation Ceremony and “A Mid-Autumn Night’s Dream of Truffles” gala wine dinner both be held on the evening of November 8. Three Michelin-star chefs have been invited to prepare dishes at the dinner to pair with a variety of international wine offerings.

The Asia Top Sommelier Summit, 9 November, take place under the theme of “Education versus Competition for Professional Sommeliers.”

A Wine Education zone has been created to cultivate wine appreciation and provide training for industry professionals. Other wine-education offerings range from wine-tasting sessions to master classes and seminars. Cocktail demonstrations was held daily in the Ice Bar.

Industry experts at the Asian Logistics and Maritime Conference (ALMC), which opens November 8, discuss the latest trends, opportunities and challenges in Asia’s booming wine market, as well as address some of the challenges facing the wine supply chain.

Public Day
Public Day on November 10, include a talk on wine’s health benefits, seminars on such topics as Canadian ice wine, Japanese sake culture, China’s wine culture and development, and wine tips for beginners. Public day also feature a master class on exploring Chinese wine from Shandong and Ningxia, and Fine-Wine Tasting sessions, spotlighting wine from Australia, France, Italy, the United States and Spain. “The Most Beloved Wine” voting game award presentation also take place 10 November.

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.