Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Fair 2013, China

The 6th Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair, last from November 7-9, at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). More than 1,000 exhibitors from 40 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.

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 Spain as a partner country. Close to 30 pavilions participate, welecome more than 90 exhibitors to the fair. Exhibitors from Jordan, Lithuania, Montenegro and Morocco join the event first time.

France and Italy, the two largest pavilions, feature a combined total of more than 300 exhibitors. Several pavilions new to the fair also take part: the Chinese mainland’s Penglai Vine and Wine Bureau, Japan’s Kagoshima Prefectural Government and Niigata Sake Brewers Association, Wines of Turkey and the US’s North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Fuelled by booming market demand and an established reputation for excellence, more than 70 buying missions with over 2,000 companies from around the world attend the fair, which serves as the perfect platform for wine and spirit lovers for tasting, and industry players for sourcing. The event also places a strong focus on wine-related services, investment, logistics and training.

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.

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.

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.

This year’s special wine offerings include: Rémy Martin’s limited edition Louis XIII Black Pearl Magnum, available from Amazing Wine Global Ltd, at HK$500,000 a bottle. Champagne Colin, gold-award winner at the 2012 Concours des Vignerons Independants; Riesling wine from Knipser, which received five-star recognition from three leading German wine guides in 2011; and Turkish wine presented by Kavaklidere Saraplari AS, one of the country’s largest wineries.

Other highlights: Exotic Domaine de Canton, which blends Vietnamese ginger, Tahitian vanilla beans, French Provencal honey and Tunisian ginseng; Suigei Kochikobo Daiginjohas, which has won the gold prize in the Japan National New Sake Competition for five straight years; and Chinese Taiwan’s Kavalan Single Malt Whisky, named “the New World’s Whisky of the Year.”

Nearly 60 events take place, from master wine classes to the fifth Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition Award Presentation Ceremony.

ICEX Spain Trade and Investment organise several seminars and wine-tasting sessions, ranging from sweet and fortified, to food pairing, white and sparkling, and every red but Tempranillo. The Wines from Spain and Spanish Trade Commission (Hong Kong) present “Finest Wines from Spain – Grand Tasting,” a Spanish fine-wine tasting session; wine from 19 Spanish wineries was available. Other fine wine-tasting sessions will feature top German Riesling wine and premium port wine.

The Japan External Trade Organisation organise several tasting sessions featuring Japanese sake. The Wine and Spirit Education Trust present “A Tasting Journey through Gin: Uncovering Styles and Flavours” on 7 November, and “Alternative Bubbles, Sparkling Wines Beyond Champagne” on 8 November. Cocktail demonstrations was held in the Ice Bar throughout the fair.

Other fair highlights include the Wine Industry Conference on November 7, under the theme “Driving Growth: Global Wine Industry Trends.” The Asia Top Sommelier Summit will take place 8 November, presenting “The New Mapping of a World-Class Wine List.”

The Gala Wine Dinner, 7 November, was celebrated with the theme “Winds from Spain” in honour of the fair’s Partner Country. Trade buyers can take part in “The Favourite Wine Voting Game,” featuring five categories: red wine, white wine, spirits, Japanese sake and other.

Public Day
The fair’s last day was open to the public. Individuals was able to purchase wine from exhibitors. The Asia Wine Service & Education Centre will host a seminar, “To Drink or Not to Drink,” looking at how wine attracts drinkers and whether money is well-spent. Debra Meiburg will host a master class, “Yum Cha, Yum Jiu: Chinese Sauces and Wine.” Her latest book, Debra Meiburg’s Guide to the Hong Kong Wine Trade, was launched on public day.

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.