Winegrowers toast success in China

By Roger Moroney

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Hawke's Bay Winegrowers chairman Nicholas Buck (left),  executive officer James Medina and Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule toast the growing Chinese market. Photo/Duncan Brown
Hawke's Bay Winegrowers chairman Nicholas Buck (left), executive officer James Medina and Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule toast the growing Chinese market. Photo/Duncan Brown

Hawke's Bay's wines and winemakers are set to make a major splash in the growing Chinese market, with three major events planned in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou.

There will also be a strong Bay presence in Hong Kong at the end of the month, with highly respected wine educator Fongyee Walker, who is representing Hawke's Bay Winegrowers, presenting the colourful Hawke's Bay wine story. The focus will be on the top red blends and syrah at the New Zealand Winegrowers pavilion at Vinexpo.

"We have been extremely busy getting everything organised," Hawke's Bay Winegrowers executive officer James Medina said.

The first event will be staged on May 19 at the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise centre in Shanghai. It will feature wines from 11 Bay wineries and will focus on "target audiences" of trade and media, and members of the hospitality industry.

There will be tasting and training on wine judging for those in the industry.

On May 23, a luncheon is being staged in Beijing which will introduce the Bay's wines to guests, again from across all aspects of the Chinese trade and hospitality industry.

Nine wineries will be involved. The third event is a winetasting event, again aimed at introducing people to judging wine varieties, being staged at Guangzhou on May 25.

"We have a number of wineries planning to attend some or all of the events - Alpha Domus, Elephant Hill, Babich, Mission Estate, Te Mata, Ngatarawa, Crossroads, Paritua, Pask, Sileni and Vidal - and it is great to see such a good showing," Mr Medina said.

"Things are really starting to come together for us now in the Chinese market and we are starting to get real traction."

Mr Medina said the growing number of presentations and opportunities to highlight Hawke's Bay wines had resulted in more approaches from overseas markets and agents.

"Having these events lining up is pretty exciting for us."

There had also been good news for the Bay winescape after Hawke's Bay Winegrowers were approached and asked to be the wine sponsor at the NZ Film Festival for the opening premieres in China, on April 22 in Beijing and April 24 in Shanghai.

The Bay was represented by Crossroads in Beijing and Babich in Shanghai. An advocate for the Bay push into the burgeoning market, Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule, opened the Beijing event.

Mr Medina said the events were covered on Chinese social media sites.

"I believe there will be more opportunities for us to engage at New Zealand and Chinese cultural events."

He said further consumer events featuring Hawke's Bay were being planned for September.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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