Chasing the Dragon

A New Zealand winemaker friend sent me a message – “I am coming as usual to LIWF next week. Are you going to London? We could meet up for a beer?” Ironically while many New Zealand and Ozzie winemakers fly across Asia to Europe to attend the annual London Fair (a very popular fair for New World winemakers), a group of Portuguese winemakers will be passing them in the skies flying the opposite direction from Europe to China. Headed off in pursuit of a vinous ‘Look East’ Policy!

This Portuguese ‘Orient Express’ starts off with a Trade Tasting in Beijing organized by Viniportugal, then moves on to Xanghai to catch the 3 day SIAL China Food and Beverage Fair. During the several days the delegation is in Shanghai, we will also take part in the EXPO 2010 , which just opened to a blaze of fireworks. Portuguese wines have the potential to make their mark on the 70 million expected visitors over the next six months (70% expected to come from within China), visiting pavilions representing more than 200 countries, including the Portuguese where  our wines will be sold.

From Shanghai the group moves on to Hong Kong for Vinexpo Asia-Pacific, where Cortes de Cima will be participating for the first time in this biannual fair in it’s 3rd edition, covering some 8,000 m2, 30 exhibiting countries and 9,500 anticipated visitors.  ”Asia’s wine consumption is set to grow by 25% in the next five years in stark contrast to a predicted fall in European wine drinking, and at a rate five times faster than the rest of the world” – Harpers.

“Chinese are interested in wine, as part of a curiosity about international culture as their incomes soar, especially in rich cities like Shanghai. Wine also appeals because of the country’s great culinary tradition. “The food culture here is so much superior to the States. Wine historically is part of that table.” – Californian winemaker David Duckhorn.

Earlier posts about my last trip to Asia and our Chinese importers:-  What goes around comes around;  In Vino Veritas in Macau; Wine Culture in Hong Kong.

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