The 12th edition of the HKTDC Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair, to deliver an incomparable platform of top-tier wine and spirits from across the globe and remains the perfect stage for sourcing extraordinary vintages. The 2019 event feature over 1,000 international exhibitors, catering to global buyers on the search for greatness from bottle to bottle. The three days of intense trading among global business interests and a period of camaraderie, information-gathering and the furtherance of international wine culture.
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.
The Fair also serves as a hub of market knowledge with a lineup of educational events, seminars, master classes, tastings and demonstrations revealing emerging trends and industry insight.
Hong Kong wine industry
As a duty-free port, Hong Kong is regarded by global wine merchants as the most cost-effective distribution hub. Coupled with the keen demand for different wines from Asian and Mainland Chinese consumers, the global wine industry sees the Wine & Spirits Fair as an important promotion and trading platform. Exhibitors of all types of wines and spirits make good use of Hong Kong as a gateway to expand their business to Mainland China and other Asian markets.
Following the decision by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government to eliminate all duty-related customs and administrative controls on wine in 2008, Hong Kong’s wine industry underwent a rapid boom. The total value of wine imports surged from HK$1.6 billion in 2007 to HK$12 billion in 2018, an increase of more than 700%. The satisfactory growth in local demand signals a positive outlook for the local wine industry. Today, Hong Kong has evolved into the region’s principal wine trading and distribution hub, and the city continues to be a gateway for wines to enter the mainland market.
This development is enabled by numerous advantages that the city enjoys. In addition to wine trading and distribution, other wine-related businesses including auctions, retailing, warehousing, catering and transportation are well established in Hong Kong. Since 2009, Hong Kong has also become one of the world’s largest wine auction centres, with auctions sales reaching US$133 million in 2018 – the second highest in the world.
Consumers are seeking new tastes and high-quality alcoholic beverages, which indicates an increasingly sophisticated and mature market with stable growth in demand. The HKTDC has made utmost effort continuously to attract so many buyers from Mainland China, Chinese Taiwan, Macao and various countries in Southeast Asia. Global wine producers can meet with different buyers to explore opportunities. This fair is well-organised and draws a lot of quality buyers.
Hong Kong Wine Fair 2019
The 12th edition Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair, the most important event of its kind in Asia. This year, more than 1,000 exhibitors from over 20 countries and regions showcase their quality wine and spirits, including a Ukrainian exhibitor making its debut appearance at the fair.
Some 60 events was organised as part of fair. The last day of the event was open to public visitors, offering an exceptional opportunity for Hong Kong’s wine lovers to enrich their knowledge and sample a broad selection of wines from around the world.
Each year the Wine Fair’s Gala Dinner delights with themed decoration and entertainment. This year’s theme, Modern Vault, unlocked exceptional surprises. With good spirits all around, guests enjoyed a night of networking with superb gastronomy.
The 2019 Wine & Spirits Fair will feature some 20 international group pavilions from wine-producing regions, trade organisations and governmental bodies looking to promote their quality products. This year, Japan’s Tottori Prefecture will host its debut pavilion at the fair, while the pavilions from the Czech Republic, Germany, Spain and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) will all expand in scale. Additionally, a Craft Beer Pavilion was launched as part of the broader Beer zone, with an assortment of quality craft beers, including several from Hong Kong breweries, on display.
AF Trade Limited presents Mars Maltage “Cosmo” Blended Malt Whisky, with “Cosmo”, referring to a peak located amid mountains surrounding the distillery. This whisky is a blend of single malts distilled and aged in Shinshu with single malts distilled and aged in Scotland. Such fine whisky carries not only the smell of honey and caramel, but also a subtle scent of smoke and ripe fruit.
Anun Wines brings Anun Icon Blend 2014, which has been acclaimed as winners of several leading contests, such as IWSC and Decanter. This award-winning wine is a blend of 55% Carménère and 45% Cabernet Franc from selected blocks. It is aged in French oak barrels of first use for 24 months, and is aged again in a bottle for 12 more months.
An Italian brewery Birrificio Otus Srl offers Otus LOLIPA, an excellent craft beer that is beyond imagination. Widely appreciated by many beer lovers, this unique beer is a delicate work with exquisite ingredients, pre-eminent craftsmanship, precise calibration of production processes and creativity.
Another highlight that cannot be missed is Chiyonokame Ginga Tetsudou Daiginjo from Chiyo-no-kame Sake Brewery, brought by Suntime Grand Cellar (Hong Kong) Limited. To create such a luxurious sake that you could hardly find one even in Japan, the essence of carefully selected pesticide-free rice finely grounded to 40% of its original size is extracted by a special method, fukuro-tsuri (“stringing-up of bags”). Such fine rice then undergoes 10 years or above of low-temperature ageing.
The Wine’s Link Ltd presents Champagne Cattier Brut Icône, which is produced by Cattier, a Champagne house with a distinguished history of producing champagne for over a century since 1916. Suitable for all occasions, this pale yellow champagne gives an expressive nose of apricots, peach and ripe pear, with fresh fruitiness and ginger aromas in the mouth, together with a fresh redcurrant finish. Being one of the forerunners of sustainable winegrowing in Champagne, it cultivates its vineyards in an eco-responsible way.
Specialty zones aside, exhibitors from around the world are presenting an array of remarkable products at the 2019 Wine & Spirits Fair, including:
The Ludwig Andre Late Harvest, from the Czech Republic, which was served at state banquets when Czech President Miloš Zeman visited Mainland China for the first time in 2014 and when Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the Czech Republic in 2016. The André grapes are indigenous to the Czech Republic and are produced only in small quantities;
Sav Sparkling wine from Sweden, which is made with nutritious Nordic birch sap collected every spring when the snow begins to melt. The sap is then fermented using traditional methods and the process takes a full year to complete;
A champagne gift box, jointly created by Champagne Comtes de Dampierre from France and Bentley Motors from the United Kingdom to celebrate the carmaker’s centenary;
Laimao Chinese liquor produced by Kweichow Moutai from Mainland China, which was launched in 1941 as a predecessor of Moutai, the national wine of the mainland. The Laimao is a fine example of spirits that have a rich “fermented fragrance”.
In addition to liquor and beverages, the Wine & Spirits Fair also features the Whisky and Spirits zone, the Beer zone, the World of Olive Oil zone and various zones that promote the industry’s all-round development, including Wine Education, Wine Accessories, Equipment and Services and Wine Investment. Food-pairing products, meanwhile, was showcased in the Friends of Wine zone.
A huge variety of events ake place during the three-day fair, including master classes, wine tastings, cocktail demonstrations and seminars. All these present excellent opportunities for buyers to get to know the latest market intelligence, together with product and marketing developments in the wine industry.
Around 70 events was organised at the fair this year. Every year, the Wine Industry Conference attracts over a hundred of wine professionals. This year, Asia’s first Master of Wine, Debra Meiburg, will serve as the Conference’s advisor and moderator and share the latest industry updates with the audience under the theme of “Game Changer: Marketing Wine in Millennial Bottles”.
In addition, the fair was joining hands with the Hong Kong Polytechnic University School of Hotel and Tourism Management to co-organise the Asia Wine Academy, in which Master of Wine Jeannie Cho Lee and Master Sommelier Lu Yang host intensive courses about Cabernet to allow participants to gain insights into wine variety.
Fabulous activities abound at the Wine & Spirits Fair. On the first day, The Wine Industry Conference entitled “Game Changer: Marketing Wine in Millennial Bottles”. The 11th Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine and Spirit Competition Award Presentation Ceremony was staged during the Cocktail Reception.
Following the reception, a Gala Wine Dinner with the theme “Modern Vault” will see guests enjoy a menu curated by Chef Jacques Kagi, who has worked at several renowned hotels and as a judge on local TV food shows. The delectable dishes was paired with fine wines sponsored by a fair exhibitor.
More seminars discussing timely industry topics was held on the second day, including the “Think Like an Insider: The Future of Wine Investment in Emerging Asian Wine Markets” and “Elegance & Excellence: Exploring Italy’s Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG” seminars.
The last day of the fair was open to the public. Wine lovers aged 18 and above with valid tickets are welcome to visit the fair and join wine tasting and cocktail demonstration to enrich personal experience in wine appreciation. This open day also represents a great opportunity for exhibitors to meet consumers face-to-face while collecting valuable feedback and market intelligence from the public.
A series of seminars, wine tastings, masterclasses, whisky tastings and cocktail demonstrations was held on the Public Day, all of which allow visitors to expand their knowledge and understanding of wines and spirits. Events open to the public will include a seminar run by Debra Meiburg titled “Indie Fest: The World’s Hottest Indigenous & Alternative Varieties”, a wine tasting class co-organised by the Asia Wine Service and Education Centre (AWSEC) and the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), and a Japanese sake film screening and tasting event.
The HKTDC also once again launch the Hong Kong Wine Journey citywide promotion. The campaign gather more than 90 partners to host a range of wine-related activities, such as wine-tasting and wine-pairing classes, to share the joy of wine with the public. Visitors to the Wine & Spirits Fair can enjoy free corkage at selected restaurants during the promotion.
Asia’s premium wine and spirits competition
Since 2008, the Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition serves as a highly effective platform for top wine and spirits for the Asian market. An adjudicating panel which includes Asia’s top experts and influencers would take into consideration the Asian taste and consumption culture as they select the best wine and spirits of the year.
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.