Wine Australia, in association with the Barossa Grape and Wine Association and twenty seven Australian wineries, recently highlighted diversity, quality and regionally distinctive wines from across our vast country at Vinexpo Hong Kong 2016. While this event may have its origins in one of France's most traditional wine regions, Bordeaux, it was Australian wine that stole the limelight at Vinexpo Hong Kong 2016. The Australian wine industry never stands still and is continually evolving its fine wine proposition. The wineries at Vinexpo were an outstanding example of this, and perfectly represented the history, evolution and revolution of Australian wine.
'Among all of the pavilions, it seemed to me that Wine Australia’s pavilion was the most popular, always crowded with visitors.'
Joanna Zheng, Product Senior Director at Amazon China
Vinexpo Hong Kong - Showcasing Australian wine in our fastest growing export region
Record crowds of almost 17,000 highly influential trade visitors from across twenty four countries in the Asia Pacific region visited the event. Australian exhibitors, new and old, were blown away by the interest in their wines and their stories at the event. Having a presence on the Wine Australia stand helped them to maximise their export opportunities, uncover leads for their brands, make new contacts and strengthen existing trade relationships. This is vitally important in a region which has experienced a 37% increase in the value of Australian wine exports over the last 12 months.
'What it [Vinexpo Hong Kong] does allow us to do is meet with influencers from so many different countries in one spot. It’s a lot easier to come to Hong Kong than it is to also fly to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Japan and China for example... The sentiment around Australian wine certainly seems to be a lot more positive. I’m getting a lot of enquiries about expanding our portfolio within existing partnerships, so it’s been a worthwhile exercise for us.'
Sam Holmes, General Manager International Sales at Negociants
In our Vinexpo Hong Kong 2016 highlights video we meet the people that made our stand so special and chat with the highly influential visitors that were blown away by our fine Australian wine.
Education showcases history, evolution and revolution of Australian wine
To enhance the Australian wine experience at Vinexpo Hong Kong 2016, Wine Australia curated a series of themed feature masterclasses each day. These were conducted by Hong Kong-based Australian winemaker and wine expert Eddie McDougall, the Barossa Wine and Grape Association’s James March, Barossa wine expert and Director of Teusner, Howard Duncan, and long-time friend of Australian wine, educator Corinne Mui from the AWSEC. From 'Australia's Cool Climate Wines' to unique and alternative styles that are 'Pushing the Boundaries', these masterclasses helped our influential visitors discover a myriad of bold and exciting Australian flavours.
'Being involved in the masterclass gives me exposure to different wines, different areas... as well as what are the new winemaking styles, it helps keep me up to date.'
Lo Chun Tin, John, AIG Insurance Hong Kong
Australia's favourite variety Shiraz finds a new home in Asia
Australian wine also took centre stage on Vinexpo’s Shiraz Day, the exhibition’s first ever varietal celebration. The day kicked off with a Breakfast Shiraz Conference on the topic, 'Can Shiraz become the next trend in Asia?' hosted by Andrew Caillard MW and featuring panellists Robert Hill-Smith, Chairman of Yalumba, and Nelson Chow, President of the Hong Kong Sommelier Association. The answer from the panel and from the floor was a resounding, 'Yes!'
Next up was a Shiraz Blind Tasting from the Citadelles du Vin, a prestigious wine competition held in Bourg, Bordeaux. Attendees at Vinexpo were invited to taste a selection of some of the world's finest Shiraz wines and pick their favourite. In a surprise to some, but definitely not to us, the winner was an Australian wine. Congratulations to Hickinbotham Wines on their win for their 2013 Brooks Road Shiraz from McLaren Vale.
Wine consultant, wine writer and Master of Wine Phil Reedman then led masterclasses showcasing the Barossa's Old Vine Shiraz heritage and the history, evolution and revolution of Australian Shiraz. Following one of these masterclasses a guest commented that his perception of traditional Australian Shiraz had been challenged by the diversity of the wines he’d tasted and that he’d been impressed by the quality of the wines on show..
'After almost two centuries of experimentation with Shiraz, Australia has certainly put its mark on this magnificent variety and Shiraz has put its mark on Australia. And to the next two years of experimentation we can raise a glass – cheers!'
Phil Reedman, MW
A bright future for premium Australian wine in Asia
With Australian wine exports to Asia now valued at $756 million, and with higher priced wines (over A$10 per litre) making up 49.5% of the total, the future for Australian wine in Asia Pacific is definitely bright. At Vinexpo Hong Kong, Australian winemakers and principals shared their passion and stories with thousands of visitors, helping to make it one of Australian wine’s most successful trade activities in our fastest growing export region. We'll leave the final word to Wine Australia's Head of Market Asia Pacific, Hiro Tejima.
'Vinexpo Hong Kong has always been an important trade event for us but 2016 has been simply stunning for Australian wine. Our exhibitors were constantly surrounded by a crowd of keen wine buyers and media from not only Hong Kong and mainland China but also Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand and India among many others. There was a very special vibe about our stand that no other stand had, which is indicative of the strength of the Australian wine category in this region.'
Hiro Tejima, Head of Market Asia Pacific at Wine Australia
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