Vinexpo Celebrates 20th Anniversary in Hong Kong!

Vinexpo opens in Hong Kong celebrating its 20th anniversary with the 20 “universal key values” that it shares with the producers of wines and spirits, the buyers of wines and spirits, and the city of Hong Kong. 18,000 wine buyers are expected at Asia’s most  prestigious wine fair.

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Day One at Vinexo Hong Kong 2018. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.

Fully 1,460 wines and spirits producers from approximately 30 countries will showcase their wares at Vinexpo Hong Kong. More than 300 new exhibitors will join the prestigious wine fair this year.

An estimated 18,000 attendees from approximately 50 countries around the world will attend Vinexpo, with the largest numbers coming from China and Hong Kong. South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Vietnam will also be well represented at the trade fair.

A series of talks, tastings, and masterclasses will be held during Vinexpo. Two of the hottest topics will be organic wines and the growing challenges and opportunities presented by e-commerce in the rapidly evolving wines and spirits industries.

Vinexpo Hong Kong will be held from 29 to 31 May 2018 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) in Wanchai on Hong Kong Island. Vinexpo will be open to fair-goers from 9.30 am to 6.30 pm.

The closest hotels are the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong and the Renaissance Hong Kong Harbourview, both of which are located within the HKCEC complex, with direct access.

Click HERE for detailed transport information to and from the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Weather Update

If you are planning to attend Vinexpo Hong Kong, be informed that Hong Kong is in the throws of an unprecedented heat wave, which is expected to continue through at least 31 May – possibly longer.

Daily highs have been 33 to 35 degrees Celsius, or 91 to 95 degree Fahrenheit, with humidity levels ranging from 60 to 90%, which is lower than normal this time of year.

The skies have been unusually clear and sunny – so bring your camera for some great photo opps of Victoria Harbour.

Evenings, in fact, have been unusually balmy, making outdoor dining more pleasant than usual.

Bear in mind that air-conditioning is nearly universal in Hong Kong, and that includes the convention centre as well as hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, and public transport.

Having said that, the air-conditioners at HKCEC didn’t seem up to the task on day one.

Walking outdoors to and from the convention centre, however, can be a bit uncomfortable if you are wearing business attire.

Occasional showers are expected later in the week after Vinexpo ends.

Vinexpo 2018 – Day One

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Now in its 20th year, Vinexpo Hong Kong opens to the trade for a three-day run at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.
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One of my first orders of business is to have a selfie taken at the California Pavilion. No matter how far you roam, there’s no place like home!
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I am very impressed with Friends Fun Wine, a new product from Miami Beach. It has a hint of fruit as well as lower alcohol and calorie content.
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When I see my last name in lights, have to have a photo taken with a salesman at the eponymous Taylor’s Port from Portugal booth.

Old World Wines

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French vintners have a strong presence at Vinexpo Hong Kong, which is not surprising. French wines continue to dominate the market in both China and Hong Kong. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.
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Germany has a strong presence at Vinexpo Hong Kong. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.
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Greece wines are starting to be taken seriously at Vinexpo Hong Kong. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.
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Italian wines are attracting interest at Vinexpo Hong Kong. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.
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Portuguese wines are especially popular in Macau, which was ruled by Portugal for more than  400 years. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.
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Spanish wines have yet to make a considerable dent in the Hong Kong wine market. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.

New World Wines

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Argentine wine marketers seem to have their work cut out for them. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.
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Australian wine-makers have a strong presence at Vinexpo Hong Kong, and their pavilions and booths attract large and enthusiastic crowds of buyers. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.
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Chilean wines have long been popular in Hong Kong. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.
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Move over California! The United States has a large presence, but vintners from New York State seems to be attracting the most interest. Oregon, Texas, and Washington State also have a presence at Vinexpo Hong Kong. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.

Emerging Markets

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China is one of the many emerging markets trying to be taken seriously at Vinexpo Hong Kong. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.

Packaging

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Boring wine labels are well past their sell-by date as these lovely labels demonstrate. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.
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Blue on blue packaging from a Italian spirits maker.  Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.
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With packaging like this, Friends Fun Wine could only be from Miami Beach. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.

Business

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Negotiations underway at the booth of a producer from Bordeaux, France. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.
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Australian winemakers were receiving a warm welcome from Asian wine buyesr. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.

Time to Relax

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Buyers and sellers alike can … themselves with traditional Hong Kong style snacks at a pop-up tea house, known locally as a cha chaan teng. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.

Vinexpo 101

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Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre overlooks Victoria Harbour. Photo Credit: Vinexpo Hong Kong.

Vinexpo Hong Kong attracts six basic types of visitors: importers, wholesale, and retail businesses; hospitality and food service businesses; e-commerce professionals; and specialist institutions and associations.

Vinexpo Hong Kong is exclusively for the trade, and the general public is not allowed to attend.

The first Vinexpo was held in Hong Kong in 1998. It was the first ever wines and spirits trade show ever to have been held in the city, which returned to Chinese sovereignty the year before.

Since that time, Hong Kong has grown into Asia’s most important trading hub for wines and spirits and one of the most important trading hubs for wines and spirits in the entire world.

Hong Kong received a major boost in this regard when all duty-related customs on wines and spirits were scrapped in February 2008.

The impact was fast and furious. The import of wines soared by 80% the first year, and over the first two years roughly 850 wine-related businesses were set up in Hong Kong.

The value of wines and spirits sold at auctions in Hong Kong quickly overtook that of London and New York.

Vinexpo currently hold trade shows in three cities in addition to Hong Kong: Bordeaux, France; New York, USA; and Tokyo, Japan. Paris, France, will be added in 2020.

Wine Australia

Australia will be featured at this year’s Vinexpo because of what Guillaume Deglise, CEO of Vinexpo Group, calls its “amazing export achievements” in the Asia Pacific region.

“The figures speak for themselves,” Guillaume says. “In the last 12 months, sales to China, Hong Kong, and Macau rose by 51% to reach A$1.04 billion.”

More than 150 Australian wine producers will attend the event, offering themed events each day.

There will be masterclasses, tastings, and conferences. Australia will also co-host The Blend, Vinexpo’s official party on 30 May.

To demonstrate the importance Australia is attaching to the event, Anne Ruston, Australia’s Assistant Federal Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, will attend Vinexpo’s opening ceremony on 29 May.

Senator Ruston recently announced a two million-dollar project to attract more international travelers to South Australia’s wine-producing regions.

In a related move, a A$5 million International Wine Tourism State Grant will offer funding to wine associations for international wine tourism research, planning, and implementation activities.

French Connection

Despite Australia’s growing presence in the Asia Pacific, France continues to be the region’s leading supplier of wines and spirits.

Not surprisingly, hundreds of French suppliers will be present at the expo, offering dozens of tastings and conferences.

Featured French regions will include Bordeaux, Burgundy, and the Rhone Valley.

Other European wine-producing regions such as Austria, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Moldavia, Italy, Portugal, and Spain will also have a strong presence at Vinexpo.

Other important wine-growing regions such as the United States, South America, and South Africa will also be well-represented.

China Market Conference

According to Vinexpo research, China will become the world’s second largest consumer of wine after the United States within five years, with wine consumption in the world’s second largest economy increasing by one-third to a value of US$23 billion.

Most of China’s consumption of wines and spirits continues to be domestically produced, but imports are growing at a robust clip.

China’s imports of wines and spirits is expected to grow by 78% between 2016 and 2020.

The future of the wines and spirits industry looks bright for other parts of the Asia-Pacific, as well. Consumption of wines and spirits will rise by 12% in Korea, 14.3% in Taiwan, and 10% in Vietnam during that period.

Reflecting the importance of the Chinese market, Vinexpo will open with a panel discussion of experts at the China Market Conference, who will discuss the trends and forecasts for wine consumption in the world’s most populous country.

How to Get to Vinexpo

The Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre is located on the waterfront in Wanchai on Hong Kong Island. It overlooks Victoria Harbour.

The three most popular forms of transport for fair-goes are the Mass Transit Railway (MTR), taxis, and the Star Ferry.

MTR – the closest Mass Transit Railway station is Wanchai. Taking exit A5, it is a 15 minute walk from the the station to the convention centre along pedestrian bridges and through buildings. The station is air-conditioned, but the bridges are not. Hours vary from station to station, but trains run roughly between 6 am and 1 am at intervals of every 2 to 6 minutes.

Taxis – the fare at flag fall is HK$24. Drivers can charge an additional HK$6 for each piece of baggage. Tips are not expected, but drivers will usually round fares up to the closet HK$5 or HK$10. Taxi drivers in Hong Kong are supposed to take passengers wherever they want to go, but many drivers don’t like to cross Victoria Harbour. There are two taxi ranks at the entrance of the convention centre: one is for trips to other parts of Hong Kong Island; the other, for trips across the harbour to Kowloon. If taking a taxi across the harbour, the driver is entitled to charge passengers double the cross-harbour toll unless the passenger has boarded the taxi at a designated cross-harbour rank, in which case only a single charge should be levied.

Star Ferry – the Wanchai Ferry Pier is a 10 minute walk from the convention centre, and the walkway is covered but not air-conditioned. The Star Ferry operates ferries from the pier to the Star Ferry Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui on the Kowloon side of Victoria Harbour. They operate every eight to 20 minutes from 7.20 am to 11.30pm. The fare for adults ranged from HK$2.7 to HK$3.1 each way. This is the most pleasant – and economical way – of crossing the harbour.

Other transport options include buses and trams.

Where

Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre – 1 Expo Drive, Wanchai, Hong Kong. Tel: (852) 2582 8888.

Vinexpo Hong Kong is the largest wine trade fair in Asia.

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