Bordeaux, 7 June 2016 – Heartened by the recovery of the Chinese market, wine and spirits industry professionals unanimously hailed the 7th Vinexpo Hong Kong, which took place 24-26 May, as a success. A new stage has been reached in the rebranding of Vinexpo, which is fast becoming the go-to industry partner in Asia-Pacific.
The leading wine and spirits industry event
Exhibitors have once again remarked on the quality of the organiser’s selection, and with 17,200 visitors (up 2.5% on 2014), the increase in the number of buyers who went to Hong Kong this year.
“We met very interested importers, very serious and professional” exclaimed Nicolas Perinetti, Export Manager of Casarena Winery (Argentina).
Vinexpo stands out from other Asian exhibitions in its ability to attract decision-makers and experts. The big names in the industry were there to welcome key buyers to their stands. Internationally renowned experts were also present, presiding over the 75 events Vinexpo organised alongside the exhibition. The talk on the wine market in China* provided valuable insights for understanding and penetrating this constantly developing market.
Many business meetings were facilitated by the exhibitor/buyer personalised appointment service. Managed by Vinexpo, the ‘One to Wine Meetings’ service led to more than 1,300 on-stand meetings.
“Vinexpo Hong Kong is a fabulous exhibition, very well organised. My expectations were well surpassed. Both the One to Wine meetings and the unexpected encounters have provided new business opportunities” said Euan McKay, Import Manager of Fine Wine Merchant.
The same level of professionalism was also evident in the quality of the organisation and the way the exhibition was run. From stand logistics to the creation of themed restaurants where diners could sample the exhibitors’ own wines, the calm atmosphere was designed to be conducive to business. The 75 events under the umbrella of the Vinexpo Academy, ranging from prestigious masterclasses to top flight talks, were of the same high standard.
More international than ever
1,300 exhibitors from 33 countries presented more than 55 different categories of wine and spirits, from Champagne and port to whisky and tequila. This formidable global showcase is unique in its diversity and the variety of products on offer.
The increasingly international positioning of Vinexpo Hong Kong shows not only in the visitor numbers, up 2.5% on 2014, but also in the remarkable increased diversity of visitors, with the number of countries represented rising from 25 to 51. Hong Kong more than ever acts as a gateway to the Asian market, but its influence also extends to buyers from Europe, the Middle East, Russia and Africa.
Mainland China currently accounts for the highest number of buyers, a sign of the significant recovery of the market in China – the world’s fifth largest wine consumer – as well as Vinexpo’s promotion activity in this market. The number of Chinese visitors increased by 7.9% against 2014.
There was, however, a 12% drop in visitors from Hong Kong, attributable to the ‘trade only’ rule imposed by the organisers. Taiwan (up 3%) and Korea (up 1%) occupy third and fourth place in visitor numbers. Despite slightly fewer visitors overall from Japan (fifth place), they accounted for more importers, although the Japanese on-trade buyers preferred to attend Vinexpo Tokyo. Another notable development at this session of Vinexpo Hong Kong was the recovery of Australian imports and consequently the 21% increase in Australian visitors. The ASEAN countries confirmed the upturn already noted in 2014, particularly in the case of Vietnam (up 23%).
A unique experience
More than an exhibition, Vinexpo offers a first-hand experience and penetrating insight into the world’s winegrowing areas.
With Italy as this session’s Country of Honour, the many themed masterclasses and producers from the various Italian wine-producing regions took visitors on a journey into the heart of this country renowned for the great diversity of its vineyards and grape varieties.
The Blend, the Vinexpo Hong Kong evening networking party, was an opportunity for the 1,540 participants to meet and mingle in friendly, relaxed surroundings. Italian finger food matched with wines and spirits from the featured country cast an air of la dolce vita over the Grand Foyer of the HKCEC.
Another highlight, both informative and fun at the same time, the Vinexpo Challenge run by Jon Arvid Rosengren, Best Sommelier in the World 2016, put professionals to the test in a blind tasting of ten wines from around the world.
Shiraz Day: for the first time, Vinexpo organised a day dedicated to one particular grape variety. Through a series of tastings and talks, participants were able to better appreciate the special nature of the Syrah/Shiraz grape and the myriad expressions drawn from its many terroirs.
Another feature of Vinexpo is the way events continue into the evening. For three days, wine-centred events were held all over Hong Kong. Dinners were organised in some of the city’s finest restaurants. The Commanderie du Bontemps, the Jurade de St Emilion and the Ordre des Côteaux de Champagne invited their guests to sample some exceptional wines.
And that is part of the magic of Vinexpo – an experience, a total immersion in this fascinating world.
Vinexpo organises international wine and spirits shows in Europe and Asia. Vinexpo Bordeaux is a major gathering for the entire industry – a key date for all wine and spirits professionals. And every two years Vinexpo Hong Kong brings together producers from the entire world keen to break into the growing markets in Asia-Pacific. There is also Vinexpo Tokyo, a niche show specifically aimed at the Japanese market. Dates for your diary: Vinexpo Tokyo 15 & 16 November 2016 and Vinexpo Bordeaux 18-21 June 2017.