Thursday, June 5, 2008

Asian trip

Vinexpo Hong Kong 2008 was a success. Very well attended compared to 2006.

The Chinese market is growing fast so as for the wine world. Attendance for all the tastings I took part of with Château La Dominique, part of the Saint Emilion Crus Classes, was around 600 people. Even though I poured small amounts per glass, my 6 bottles could only accommodate 300 people, and this in an attentive and friendly atmosphere. In 2006, only the Union des Grands Crus was successful. This year too, but the Cercle Rive Droite as well.
The image of Bordeaux is very strong. I hope that our leaders, CIVB, trade unions and other regional officials don’t miss this opportunity.

I always have a hard time to evaluate the impact of such event. But if I can, I will create a sales office in Hong Kong to promote and establish properties who trust me as well as mine in this promising country. Hong Kong being the principal gateway.
In any case, Hong Kong’s governmental Agency encouraged me to setup shop stating that everything is possible and that Hong Kong’s infrastructure is available for me! They even sent a French speaking person to convince me, this after spending an hour with his Anglophone colleague!
We were busy most of the time, except for a few moments in the morning and during the big tastings. For the next show, instead of being 3 (Jean-Roger Calvet, Xin Yan and I), I think that 4 or 5 people will be necessary to respond to all the demands.

We had nice meals everyday, either with Chinese friends already customers, or ones taken everyday in normal restaurants (for instance, we paid 6 Euros for 2: nice addresses for the Guide du Routard).

Following, we went to Japan with Andreas Larsson. Perfect organization: 10 people accompanied us to present wine for only 12, journalists or restaurants in Tokyo. Great attendance for the Château Robuchon tasting with the Saint Emilion Grand Crus Classés. I represented Château La Dominique. Great attendance as well for the primeurs 2007 tasting organized by our colleagues from CVBG and Ginestet for the second consecutive year. The wines tasted good and Tokuoka’s organization was more than perfect.
We also had quality meals, very VIP (400/500 Euros per person) but in this case, Valandraud is very well known, a sort of “Fairytale” – not garage, but “Cinderella wine”.

Jean-Roger will forward his own recap of Vinexpo to be published…

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