Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the 12th HKTDC Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair opened today and will run for three days (7 to 9 November) at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). Paul Chan, Financial Secretary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), officiated at this morning’s opening ceremony.
In her welcoming remarks at the ceremony, Margaret Fong, HKTDC Executive Director, introduced some of the highlights of this year’s fair. “The 12th edition of the Wine & Spirits Fair has gathered 1,075 exhibitors from 30 countries and regions to showcase exquisite wines from around the world,” Ms Fong said. “We are happy to welcome new exhibitors from Japan’s Tottori Prefecture, and we would like to thank France, Italy, the Czech Republic, Germany, Spain and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) for their staunch support.”
Market research agency Statista has forecast that wine sales in Asian markets and mainland China will grow at 4% per annum between 2019 and 2023. Hong Kong’s wine industry underwent a rapid boom after the HKSAR Government eliminated all duty-related customs and administrative controls on wine in 2008. Since then, the total value of wine imports has grown by over sevenfold, surging from HK$1.6 billion in 2007 to HK$12 billion in 2018. Meanwhile, a report from Euromonitor International revealed that consumers in Hong Kong are seeking new tastes and high-quality alcoholic beverages, which indicates an increasingly sophisticated and mature market with stable growth in demand.
A Buyer Concierge Desk provides a free business matching service between buyers and exhibitors onsite. Meanwhile, HKTDC Service Counters with service ambassadors at the Buffer Halls of Hong Kong International Airport provide event participants with the latest transportation information upon arrival.
New Craft Beer Pavilion showcases an array of fine brews
This year’s Wine & Spirits Fair features 20 group pavilions from different wine-producing regions, trade organisations and governmental bodies looking to promote their quality products. In the Beer Zone, the Craft Beer Pavilion makes its debut to showcase a variety of local craft beers and offer beer lovers an even more varied selection.
An array of quality products is presented by exhibitors from around the world, including:
– 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 fermented for a full year using traditional methods;
– Craft beers from Hong Kong brewery Eat Play Love. Founded in 2016, the company has released a number of beers infused with Hong Kong culture, including its Witbier, Porter and IPA;
– Japanese single malt cask-strength whisky, Kanosuke New Born. This whisky is made with British barley, matured in American white oak barrels used for making Mellowed Kozuru shochu, and kept in Kanosuke’s wind-swept seaside warehouses for eight months before bottling;
– The refined and modernised Chinese baijiu presented by Jiang Xiaobai. The producer has developed a lighter, smoother and easier-to-drink baijiu using light-aroma sorghum to appeal to younger tastes;
– The Japanese sake, Chiyonokame Ginga Tetsudou Daiginjo, which is a signature product of the Chiyo-no-kame Sake Brewery. Using pesticide-free rice finely ground to 40% of its original size, the sake is extracted through a special method called “fukuro-tsuri” (“stringing-up of bags”) and aged at a low temperature for at least 10 years. This painstaking production process makes the sake highly sought-after in Japan.
In addition to the Liquor & Beverage Products Zone and the Beer Zone, the fair features the Whisky and Spirits Zone and various zones that promote the industry’s all-round development, including Wine Education, Wine Investment as well as Wine Accessories and Service. Food-pairing products will be showcased at the Friends of Wine Zone.
Exploring cabernets at the Asia Wine Academy
The remarkable success of last year’s Asia Wine Academy prompted the HKTDC to join hands with the Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s School of Hotel and Tourism Management to co-organise the academy again in 2019. Lu Yang, the world’s first Chinese Master Sommelier, and Jeannie Cho Lee, Master of Wine, will host a session entitled “Looking into Variations of Cabernet”. Participants will receive a certificate upon completing the course.
Members of the public can enrol in the Asia Wine Academy on-site and enjoy the special price of HK$495 for one course or HK$880 for the full curriculum. The fee includes a complimentary Wine & Spirits Fair ticket for 9 November and a Lucaris crystal wine glass, which are valued at a total of HK$1,300. This privilege can only be redeemed on 9 November on a first-come, first-served basis and while stocks last.
Fabulous activities abound at the Wine & Spirits Fair. This afternoon, the HKTDC will organise the Wine Industry Conference entitled “Game Changer: Marketing Wine in Millennial Bottles”. Tonight, the 11th Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine and Spirit Competition Award Presentation Ceremony will be 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 will be paired with fine wines sponsored by a fair exhibitor.
More seminars discussing timely industry topics will be held tomorrow, 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.
Exciting activities on Public Day
The last day of the Wine & Spirits Fair (9 November) will be the Public Day, open to members of the public aged 18 or above. Regular tickets are priced at HK$200*. Ticketholders can redeem a Lucaris crystal wine glass on a first-come, first-served basis and while stocks last.
Seminars held on Public Day include one run by Debra Meiburg titled “Indie Fest: The World’s Hottest Indigenous & Alternative Varieties”, as well as seminars on “Assessing Wine Quality”, “How Sake is Made” and “Discover a Wealth of Aromas in Spirits (Whisky, Brandy & Gin)”.
Some exhibitors will accept e-payment through AlipayHK APP and PayMe onsite on the Public Day. Consumers will also be able to enjoy a variety of discounts.
What’s more, HKTDC is once again organising the Hong Kong Wine Journey citywide campaign, gathering some 90 partners to host a range of wine-related activities in November. Members of the public can join wine-tasting and wine-pairing events and enjoy various dining privileges. For details, please refer to the Hong Kong Wine Journey map or the event website.
Tickets to the Wine & Spirits Fair Public Day are priced at HK$200 each and are sold on-site. From now until tomorrow (8 November), members of the public can purchase Public Day tickets at the special price of HK$99 through AlipayHK APP, HKTVmall, HoKoBuy, Ticketflap, Price.com, Timable, Yahoo Deals and O2OshopHK. Ticket buyers will receive a Lucaris crystal wine glass on a first-come, first-served basis while stocks last.
#e-Payment Offers on Public Day:
For the discounts offered through AlipayHK APP, please refer to the Merchants Offers page of AlipayHK APP or visit its Information Kiosk located between Halls 3E and 3F during the fair period. For the discounts offered through PayMe, some exhibitors will offer a HK$15-rebate for each HK$100-transaction and a HK$150-rebate for each HK$1000-transaction. The discounts are offered on a first-come-first-served basis while stock lasts. For details, please visit the PayMe Information Kiosk located near the entrance of Hall 3E.
– Wine & Spirits Fair: http://hkwinefair.hktdc.com/
– Hong Kong Wine Journey: www.hktdc.com/hkwinejourney
– Asia Wine Academy: https://hkwinefair.hktdc.com/dm/2019/asia_wine/index_en.html
– Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine and Spirit Competition: http://www.hkiwsc.com/
– HKTDC’s autumn trade fairs supporting services: https://home.hktdc.com/tc/s/autumn-fairs-open
– Product highlights and photo download: Click here. http://bit.ly/36EEQ1Y
– Please download more photos from here. http://bit.ly/32tyC1r