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Friday, 6 November 2015, 17:20 HKT/SGT
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Source: HKTDC
Wine Industry Conference Features International Experts
China Market and Sustainability of Wine Business in Focus

HONG KONG, Nov 6, 2015 - (ACN Newswire) - The annual Wine Industry Conference was held yesterday as part of the Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Fair at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the conference gathered leading industry figures to share their insights on the theme of "Future & Sustainability: Wine and our Times."

Moderated by Hong Kong-based Master of Wine Debra Meiburg, Director of Meiburg Wine Media Ltd., the event featured presentations by Joao Paulo Martins, Portuguese Wine Writer and Columnist for Portuguese weekly Expresso; Monty Waldin, Biodynamic Wine Writer, Critic, and Consultant; Jamie Goode, Wine Columnist for United Kingdom newspaper The Sunday Express; and Judy Chan, President of Grace Vineyard in the Chinese mainland.

Ms Chan focused on the regional circumstances of her own business in her presentation titled "What is the Current Wine Culture in the Chinese mainland?" While seeing positive growth in the market overall, she said that "wine drinkers in China are still a very very small group of people." Rather than focusing on the established market, she suggested wineries work to grow their audience on the mainland. "It will be a big mistake if we constantly try to target the wine lovers; we should try to convert people who are not wine lovers yet to join us," said Ms Chan.

Mr Waldin's presentation on "Organic, Biodynamic, Sustainable: Can one Afford to Ignore these Trends?" focused on these key issues facing wine production around the globe. He suggested that while "Organic, natural, biodynamic, and sustainable are all terms we are hearing a lot more of in wine at the moment," there was no single reason for this. He said it was "partly because of wine quality, but the main reason is we're all a bit more worried about the environment and we're all trying to do our best to protect it." While noting the environmental benefits of sustainable practices, he also emphasised the essential business value of them in the wine business. "Your soil really makes your wine what it is. If that goes, there is no soil shop," he said.

The business aspects of the wine industry were in the spotlight during Mr Goode's talk on En Primeurs (wine futures) entitled "Does En Primeurs Have a Future?" Noting that "Bordeaux is the world's leading fine wine region", Mr Goode picked out the En Primeurs' distribution system as crucial to its success. While emphasising that "the reason why Bordeaux is so important in terms of fine wine is because of the structure," he also noted that this system was being increasingly tested by changing winery ownership as well as shifting global markets. While he argued that "En Primeurs has a future if the price is right," market tests in 2015 will have a big part to play in determining the outcome.

With Portugal being the official Partner Country of the on-going HKTDC International Wine and Spirits Fair (5-7 November), Mr Martins opened the Wine Industry Conference with a speech entitled "What is the Present and Future of Portuguese Wines?" Discussing the appeal of Portuguese wines, he said "we are a small country but we have a lot of differences, and those differences are what put Portugal on the map with the big boys." He singled out the wide variety of grapes unique to the country as being particularly crucial, emphasising that when discussing Portuguese wine "we are talking about 250 different grapes that were 'born' in Portugal." Rather than a certain variety of grape or wine leading Portugal's wine business in the future, he suggested that it is this character and diversity between wines that will be the country's greatest asset.

The Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Fair continues until Saturday, with the final day of the fair open to public visitors aged 18 and over. Tickets to the public day cost HK$200 and allow ticket holders to enjoy a range of activities including master classes, cocktail demonstrations and tastings at the fairground.

Fair Website: www.hktdc.com/hkwinefair

Picture Download: http://bit.ly/1GOkdld

About 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 50 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 more than 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 business insights and information via trade publications, research reports and digital channels including the media room. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com/aboutus. Follow us on Google+, [email protected], LinkedIn.

Contact:
HKTDC
Communication and Public Affairs Department
Joe Kainz
Tel: +852 2584 4216
Email: [email protected]


Source: HKTDC

Topic: Trade Show or Conference
Sectors: Trade Shows, Retail/eCommerce, Food/Beverage
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