Media release – Wine Australia
Monday 30 May 2016
A surge of interest for Australian wine amid record crowds at Vinexpo Hong Kong
At Vinexpo Hong Kong last week, record crowds of more than 17,000 highly influential trade visitors from across the Asia Pacific region contributed to one of Australian wine’s most successful trade activities in our fastest growing export region.
Joanna Zheng, Product Senior Director at Amazon China said, ‘Among all of the pavilions, it seemed to me that Wine Australia’s pavilion was the most popular, always crowded with visitors.
‘The representatives from Australian wineries are very passionate about their wine, and they interacted a lot with visitors. I can see that Wine Australia and the wineries and exhibitors they partner with are holding their hands together to bring the fine image of Australian wine to another high level.’
Exhibitors expressed delight at the overwhelming number of visitors to the stand and the opportunity to reach a broad cross-section of influencers from across the Asia Pacific region via one trade event.
Emma Shaw, Global Sales Manager at Langmeil from the Barossa said, ‘This is my first time in Hong Kong for Vinexpo. We partner with Wine Australia at ProWein in Düsseldorf and this year was full-on and I was thinking there’s no way Vinexpo will be anywhere close to that but it is.
‘The stand is so busy and we’re making some really good contacts and having a good time as well!’
Sam Holmes, General Manager International Sales at Negociants, found Vinexpo Hong Kong a valuable trade engagement opportunity in a region where cultivating and maintaining relationships is key to success.
‘Vinexpo has been a great opportunity for us to meet our partners from all over Asia. For us it’s not about finding new customers or new markets, we’re pretty extensively distributed in this region. What it 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.
‘I’ve got sore feet and sore elbows from pouring a lot of wine over the past three days and it seems we’re getting some momentum. 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.’
With a number of free trade agreements in place in the region and a 37 per cent increase in the value of Australian wine exports to the Asian region over the last 12 months, exhibitors at the Wine Australia Vinexpo stand maximised their export opportunities, uncovering commercial leads for their brands, making new contacts and strengthening existing trade relationships.
Hiro Tejima, Wine Australia’s Head of Market Asia Pacific, said, ‘Vinexpo Hong Kong has always been an important trade event for us but 2016 has been simply stunning for Australian wine.
‘The Wine Australia stand was arguably the busiest throughout the entire show. 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. Many of our 27 exhibitors commented that the visitors were remarkably more serious about exploring new business opportunities and partnerships, than they had been in previous years.’
Willa Yang, Wine Australia’s Head of Market China continued, ‘I’m happy to see the growing interest in Australian wines from mainland China; we met many Chinese visitors seeking business opportunities at Vinexpo.
‘Our aim was to share the Australian fine wine message during the show by showcasing the diversity and high quality of Australian wines, as well as hosting impressive master classes with incredible wines delivered by Masters of Wine and other key influencers. It’s vital that we continue to work with wineries to promote not only the Australian wine message but also the regional messages.’
This year, the Wine Australia stand had a dedicated master class area where seven master classes were conducted by visiting and local tutors, including Corinne Mui from the Asia Wine Service and Education Centre and Eddie McDougall, founder of The Flying Winemaker, a local television series and online wine store.
Australian wine also took centre stage on Vinexpo’s Shiraz Day, the exhibition’s first varietal celebration, at key events such as the Breakfast Shiraz Conference and Wine Australia-hosted Shiraz master classes. Following a Shiraz master class, one guest commented that his perception of traditional Australian Shiraz had been challenged by the diversity of the wines he’d tasted throughout the session and he’d been impressed by the quality presented.
Australian wine exports to Asia are now valued at $756 million, with higher priced wines over A$10 per litre making up 49.5 per cent of this total.