The HKTDC Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair is coming to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) from 5 to 7 November. In its eighth edition, this year’s fair will feature more than 1,000 exhibitors from 31 countries and regions. Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the event will once again showcase a variety of wine, spirits, and other alcoholic beverages.
Wines of Portugal
To celebrate the country’s flourishing wine scene, Portugal is the Partner Country of the Wine & Spirits Fair 2015. More than 40 Portuguese exhibitors at the HKCEC will display over 500 Portuguese wines at the Wines of Portugal pavilion. Among these exhibitors will be the Asia Pacific arm of Sogrape Vinhos, winner of the “2015 Best Wine Producer Worldwide” award from the World Association of Writers and Journalists of Wines and Spirits.
Events throughout the fair will give attendees the chance to get acquainted with Portuguese wine. These include the Portuguese Winemakers Talks and a talk and autograph session by leading Portuguese wine critic and journalist Joao Paulo Martins, who will present his new book “The Pleasure of Port – The Inside Story of a Unique Fortified Wine.” A Gala Wine Dinner on the fair’s opening night will be themed “Fado Wine Night” and feature a meal prepared by Portuguese Chef Martinho Moniz, paired with a selection of fine Portuguese wines.
A mix of established producers and innovative newcomers will delight wine lovers. France and Italy will have a strong presence in the fair with over 300 exhibitors, with other group pavilions coming from regions as diverse as Australia, Mexico, South Africa and Spain. First time pavilions will be hosted by Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia, Japan’s Hokkaido Sake Council, ProMexico and Southern Italy Pavilion. The presence of new exhibitors from Ireland and Kazakhstan will likewise bring new tastes and business opportunities for visitors to sample.
Whisky and spirits
Following its successful debut last year, the Whisky and Spirits Zone will return to the fair with a wide variety of beverages from different parts of the world. Scotland will be well represented with a number of unique whisky brands on show including the triple distilled Auchentoshan, which has an ABV (alcohol by volume) of up to 81 per cent, the award-winning Glenbrynth and the limited production Caol Ila. There will also be sake from Japan, tequila from Mexico and a maple syrup-infused brandy from Canada. The Whisky and Brandy Bar in the zone will be a place for tastings while cocktail demonstrations will be a highlight of the Ice Bar area.
The Wine Industry Conference on the opening day of the fair will feature five international experts analysing the latest trends in the business. A seminar on Chinese wine market trends meanwhile will examine this rapidly growing wine market. Master classes and guided tours by leading wine educators will give deeper insights into the products on hand.
Awards and competitions will add to the excitement of the fair. The 7th Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition Award Presentation Ceremony (5 Nov) will recognise the best in the business. Meanwhile, the “Wine.Luxe” x “Hong Kong Wine Journey” Top 10 Food & Wine Pairing Restaurant Award 2015 and the 3rd A.S.I. Contest of The Best Sommelier of Asia-Oceania Hong Kong-China 2015 will take place on the first and second day of the fair respectively.
Open to the Public
On the fair’s final day (7 Nov), doors will open to the public aged 18 or above with tickets priced at HK$200. Public visitors will be able to enjoy all the master classes, cocktail demonstrations and wine and spirit tastings held at the fair. From now until 30 October, fair visitors can purchase tickets at a special rate of $99 via online platforms including Bee Crazy, Boom Ticketing, Group Buyer, GOBUYA, TnG and Yahoo.
Flourishing wine trade
The wine trade in Hong Kong has shown tremendous growth so far this year. Over HK$2.8 billion worth of wine was exported by Hong Kong in the first eight months of 2015, an 88.2 per cent increase compared to the same period last year. Hong Kong’s wine imports have also strengthened over the same period, rising to HK$6.5 billion a 17 per cent increase year-on-year.