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Vinexpo Asia-Pacific 2012 : First results


World Hong-Kong

Vinexpo Asia-Pacific 2012

First results

Vinexpo Asia-Pacific 2012 strengthened its position of leading international event of the wine and the spirits in Asia-Pacific in Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC).

From May 29-31, 2012, this trade only expo exceeded all expectations with 1,050 exhibitors from 28 countries. More than 15,000 wine & spirits buyers and professionals converging from around the world shattered the previous record of 12,617 visitors set at the 2010 edition.
At the close of the show, Vinexpo Chief Executive Robert Beynat said: “The results from our annual IWSR survey were indicative of the growth of the Asia-Pacific market. Even during our lead-up promotional campaign in Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai, Beijing, Taipei and Hong Kong, I could already sense that the knowledge and sophistication of the markets had grown tremendously, and this was reflected in the business buzz and atmosphere of this year’s show. We are no longer in the euphoria; we are in the construction and capitalization of business.”
Officiating at the opening ceremony, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Gregory So also said: “It is a great honour for Hong Kong to host this major wine exhibition again. Similar to the many fine wines on display, Hong Kong has all the ingredients to ensure another memorable Vinexpo Asia-Pacific.”

Visitors and exhibitors were unanimous in their praise for the event, commenting on the décor of the show, the quality and look of the stands, and on the increased levels of knowledge, sophistication and spirit of openness to the business of wine and spirits.
They had the opportunity to share their Vinexpo experience with great wine makers, owners and notable guests including former winners of the ‘Best Sommelier in the World’ title such as Japanese Shinya Tasaki (1995) and French Gérard Basset (2010), along with Masters of Wine like Lynne Sherriff, Charles Curtis or Bob Campbell.
The Vinexpo Asia-Pacific Academy featured more than 60 tastings, seminars and presentations by experts and industry specialists. Academy participants also increased from 6,000 people in 2010 to approximately 8,000 participants. Host of seminars at the Academy Certificate programme, Debra Meiburg MW explained: “It's clear from the vast range of attendees that Hong Kong continues to be the regional hub for wine and spirits because of its trade-friendly business environment. There is a marked increase in the knowledge of the audience since just two years ago showing that Asia’s progress in this regard has been remarkable.”
During the closing press conference, Chairwoman of Vinexpo Asia-Pacific Dominique Hériard Dubreuil remarked: “The fact that we have increased our exhibition space by 25% and still can’t meet the demand is very encouraging. The Asia-Pacific market, while maturing, still has great potential for growth and Vinexpo Asia-Pacific remains firmly the premium choice for professionals in the wine and spirits industry. We believe that it will continue to play a major role in shaping the business in this region as reflected in the very constructive feedback from our exhibitors and visitors.”
Dominique Peyral-Bon


SommelierS International was present on Vinexpo Asia-Pacific 2012. Our journalist went to meet the different players of the field to provide you, as soon as the doors closed, with some reactions and a report of this fifth edition in Hong Kong.

Baron Philippe de Rothschild, already very structured
on the Chinese market

Present in Asia for nearly 30 years, the company has always been a pioneer on each market of the area as from their opening to foreign products. Asia trebled its purchases during the last decade. As for the Chinese market, it recently faced a particularly strong increase with volumes multiplied by 3 during the last 3 years, with important growth perspectives in the close future. BPdR participated in every edition of Vinexpo Bordeaux and Asia-Pacific from their creation. The 2012 fair in Hong Kong was once again a great success with particularly good quality attendees.

“The way we approach the Chinese market is special as we are shareholders of the distribution company Torres China since 2002. We thus have a national and complete coverage of the market, in BtoB* with the sales force or in BtoC** thanks to the new platform Everwines, the network of shops, corner shops and mail-order selling of Torres China.
Despite its growth and the consumer's craze for wine, the Chinese market’s level of maturity remains low: a classic phenomenon during a period of development. French wines dominate the category. On the other hand their proportion is very likely to reduce as the market blooms, which implies the building of strong brands from now on. Gaps can also be noted between cities of first, second or even third range.
The sources of growth rely at the same time on Japan, very mature market, where our shares increase every year, China whose potential is undoubtedly very strong and India where our expansion ambitions are very important. All these development projects are taking place as part of a strategy of rise in the range of our products with a strong synergy.”

*Business to Business - **Business to Consumer

Anthony GourmelManager Asia—Baron Philippe de Rothschild Orient

Thomas Jullien has been representing the CIVB's
interests in Asia for three years

“To me it seems that the frenzy of the first exhibitions faded. Previously, the potential buyers wanted to be explained the basis of imported wine purchase (like import procedures, storage, etc.). This year I noticed more ground work with serious and established distributors.
Regarding the market, since 3 years, mainland China develops swiftly but with differences in stages according to the region and the size of cities. Those in the first quarter—Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen—have become real consumption centres. In the towns of 2nd, 3rd and 4th rank, the distribution of wine is getting structured; the local players get their supplies and build up specifications, which contribute to prolong the growth, particularly for Bordeaux which is the reference for a distributor of imported wines.
For the Grands Crus, there still is a turnover, less important than the past years, but sustainable. The important thing is to notice that the Chinese market remains very dynamic.”

Thomas JULLIENPilot Fish, Bordeaux Wine Council Representative for Asia.

The group Castel is present since 1990 in Japan, 1992 in Vietnam,
1998 in China and at Vinexpo Asia-Pacific since the first edition.

“The real start of marketing in China materialized in 2004 with 0.5 million bottles. Since then the steady increase in sales allows us to reach 30 million bottles in 2011!
In Hong Kong, we noticed that the attendance was important the first day and then decreased. Less numerous ordinary tasters than in 2010. We had as much appointments, with a great variety of contacts that permits us to cover all Asia (Hong Kong, Macao, China, Japan, Indonesia, Korea, Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, but few from United Arab Emirates, India, Sri Lanka and Central Asia). We note visitors with more organized distributions structures who have rapidly become more professional tasters with a real interest for the French white wines and even rosé.
We start out in Beijing then Shanghai, and further in the big cities with strong development, with the support of exclusive Chinese importers/exporters. China is getting mature. The consumer wants more wines, is willing to better know them and is curious for new varietals, new regions and other French appellations.”

Franck Crouzet : Communication Manager for Castel

“The group Castel keeps on developing its brands and chateaus in Asia to become the reference in French quality and famous wines. Roche Mazet, Famille Castel,Les Ormes de Cambras, the Châteaux Castel, Baron de Lestac, Malesan, Vieux Papes, face strong demand. According to the countries, the distribution structure is not organized like in France. We are in most of the networks: traditional, restaurants, hotels, casinos, specialized shops, karaoke, direct and indirect, administrations, firms, gifts…”
Xavier Pignel-Dupont : Manager of Castel Frères China

WorldSom*, with an official opening
in September 2012, was in Hong Kong

“We had many contacts and were the subject of a lot of interest, mainly from the young Chinese, who the world of wine makes dream and who expect to work in the field. It is too early yet to get subscriptions as the courses will start only in January. I assess that 6 months are necessary to market a product like WorldSom, as from the moment we presented our offer and communication tools on this trade fair.
It has to be said that agreements are currently in preparation with prestigious Asian hotel chains. The latter are confronted by an important turnover of staff. They see in training an opportunity to apply an incentive policy to keep the best parts of their teams.

Pierre Paillardon et Florence Varaine.

Crisis is in Europe, not in Asia. A bit less in the USA where one is not used to remain idle in front of difficulties. The decline of the euro, with an exchange rate of 0.80 EUR for one US dollar, makes us even more competitive. Our prices already are aligned on the usual training fees (€25 an hour) including the tasting of great wines. We thus have real assets. The quality of our courses, our will to be close to our students, and the follow up we provide them, structure our services. This policy is quite unusual in France, more abroad. Our students are sensitive to this. All this permits Best (Cooking school) and WorldSom to prepare and correctly consider the future, even if it looks more difficult and less carefree than in the past. Moreover the sommellerie field is hampered by the lack of technical skills and available talents. At last worldwide wine professionals want to go further into their knowledge and to differentiate themselves from their counterparts.
Indisputably, Bordeaux is a brand in itself and is famous worldwide. Its Chamber of Commerce and Industry brings its reliability and legitimacy in the wine world (1855 classification, Vinexpo, BEM). The nearness of the vineyard provides an appropriate and attractive environment, and enables technical courses. It is WordlSom's plus compared to other trainings in wine. At last, even if geographically speaking we are in Bordeaux, wines of all over the world will be studied and tasted here.”

*WorldSom: World Sommelier Academy in Bordeaux

Pierre Paillardon, WorldSom's manager.

The brand Sud de France continues its offensive strategy
of establishment on the ground of the Middle Kingdom

Umbrella brand comprising wines and processed foodstuff from the Languedoc-Roussillon region, first importer in Asia for wines of that area, Sud de France has a tremendous development potential. Present beside the food products from the South of France simultaneously on SIAL in Shanghai, Vinexpo Asia-Pacific in Hong Kong and Top Wine China in Beijing for only May and June, the brand is really willing to conquer the Chinese market. The city of Beijing records an important increase of the number of professional 'wine' operators. It constitutes an access to the market of Northern China and to secondary cities like Tianjin, Dalian, Xi’an, and Qingdao which represent a real outlet for Sud de France. The House of the Region Languedoc-Roussillon created in November 2007 in Shanghai enables to be permanently present and offers its help to Chinese and Hong Kong professionals as well as to wine producers from the South of France.
Figures: from 2006 to 2011, the sales volume of Languedoc-Roussillon wines increases from 35,616 hl up to 277,421 hl (7.7 times more)–5 million bottles are exported to Hong Kong in 2010.

Chinese wines in full development and at export: Château Hansen.

“Vinexpo 2012 was very interesting in terms of attendance. We met numerous media and had an interview on CNN! As for customers, we received quality people, professionals from Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and even Indonesia. The firm also develops at export: we are present in Denmark, in Hong Kong (export for us). This fair permitted us to approach serious importers from Australia, Russia, Thailand and Macao.
We are planning to build two new chateaux: one in the region of Ningxia where we shall first vinify our exclusive farmers' wines, and the second in Erdos, Inner Mongolia, where 1,000 ha will be planted. It has to be said that in Ningxia more than 100 chateaux are under construction. Many Chinese companies wish to acquire domains in France, mainly in Bordeaux, in order to distribute wines in China afterwards.

Florence Varaine et Bruno Paumard - Chateau Hansen.

For the end of 2012 the French market, the Netherlands, Australia and Thailand are our priorities. Château Hansen has nothing in common with the other estates in China. Its vinicultural purpose is at the same time qualitative and social. Qualitative in the way it first is organic but also because in terms of viticulture, vinification and maturing, some of our actions are unique in the local scene. Social because Mr Han gave himself as an objective to turn the dry desert into a green vineyard thanks to the irrigation of the Yellow River and the use of groundwater. This approach has the double objective to create jobs and life in his native region. This also comes within a huge state project aiming at helping the development of the less rich regions of China.”
Bruno Paumard, French cellar master at Château Hansen (3 million litres in 2011) for 7 years.
NB: The Côtes du Fleuve Jaune du Désert de Gobi wine from Château Hansen becomes one of world's most awarded wines in China's wine history as it got a third bronze medal in 2012 during the International Wine Challenge of Blaye, near Bordeaux. In 2009 already, it won a silver medal during Lyon's Wine Contest whose tasting jury was mainly composed of French chefs.

First conclusive Vinexpo for the group PFV.

Under the banner Primum Familiae Vini, 11 families—and not the least—were present for the first time on the fair Vinexpo Asia-Pacific. Champagne Pol Roger, Château Mouton Rothschild, Egon Müller Scharzhof, Hugel & Fils, Maison Joseph Drouhin, Marchesi Antinori, Famille Perrin, Symington Family Estates, Vega-Sicilia, Miguel Torres, Tenuta de San Guido. “It has been a real success both by the quality and by the quantity of visitors. The association and representation of 11 families is an unequalled strength and we noticed this when assessing the synergy that exuded from the meetings with our importers from Hong Kong, China, and all Asia. Hong Kong really is an inescapable market of connoisseurs and also of collectors. As for Mainland China, the market is complementary and develops since a few years.”
Christophe Brunet,Wine Ambassador de PFV.


Luxury marketing for a top-of-the-range customer

The trading company Cordier Mestrezat Grands Crus seduced the Chinese customers. Designers of the concept Cordier4Box©, Cordier Mestrezat Grand Crus and its general manager created these pieces of art with the help of craftsmen from Bordeaux with a French know-how. A Chinese businessman fixed his choice on the case Golden4Box©, worked with 24-carat gold leaves, which contains 4 beautiful golden bottles of Château d'Yquem of prestigious vintages: 1967, 1947, 1937, 1927 … for a mere … 50,000 euros!

La Caisse vendue a` un chinois et DG David Bolzan.

Burdigala Wine Bar, 100% Bordeaux wines: the first in Shanghai…

China is a universe, a market, a life Franck Boudot knows well. He speaks fluent Mandarin and knows that business is not easy, that you need a real concept, good ideas and quickness to succeed in the Chinese universe. Native from Paris, graduate from the Hotel and Catering School of Paris, he forged his experience in big restaurant groups (Group Flo, Frères Blanc), and in Bordeaux, especially at La Tupina.
A taste for exoticism lead him to China for the opening of 3 restaurants La Boîte à Pizza in Shanghai and one Brasserie Flo. The Burdigala Wine Bar project was build up in a three-year time, the good place and the ideal city were to be found, not to mention the problems of authorization for foreigners and those of financing …
Supported by Swiss designer from Zurich Catherine Genel and the financial investment of relevant French partners already committed in wine and on the Chinese market, he opened on June 10th a 90-sqm wine bar à la française in Inner China, at 550 Wuding Road/cross Shanxi Bei road/Jingan district, in Shanghai. The concept will be adapted in some fifteen places within the 5 next years, with wine by the glass, possibility of personal cellars, ideal consumption conditions (glass, temperature…) and even, coming soon, the development of cellars with Bordeaux wines to take away. The CIVB supports the project by helping to promote the place.
“I want to make Bordeaux wines more accessible, not only the Grands Crus, despite important taxes of 48% in Inner China. The owners will also have a privileged interlocutor for theme evenings or appoint­ments, like in an Embassy of Bordeaux' vineyard.”
Frank Boudot

Eric Allouche et Nelson Chow.

Quotations; they were there too…

Bai Zhisheng, Chairman of Dynasty Fine Wines, stated that “Vinexpo is the ideal platform to promote our wines throughout Asia-Pacific”. (China)

Frédérico Domingo from Bodegas Castillo Viejo, present on the Uruguay pavilion, adds that “Vinexpo Asia-Pacific is a famous fair and recognized for its professionalism. It thus was for us the best way to approach the Chinese market”. (Uruguay)

“The fair enables us to meet professionals from all over Asia, not only from Hong Kong and China”
J. Philipon, from the Champagne House Bollinger, states. (France)

“The organization is faultless; we met most of our providers and discovered new products. We will be there in 2014” Sunny Liu, Marketing Manager of Cofco, guarantees. (Chine)

Florence VaraineCrédit Photo FV - Photos Stands Sté Depack-Architectures Commerciales