New trade body links California to Asia

A new trade association has been formed in Hong Kong to help Californian wineries  promote their wines in Asia.

CaliforniaThe California Wine Trade Association (CWA) launched during the Vinexpo trade fair in Hong Kong last month, co-founded by its executive director, Alexis Bell –  a long-time winery distributor and import executive and certified Sommelier.

For a $1,500 membership fee, the association offers a range of services designed to address the challenges faced by California wineries in Asia, with benefits including a Hong Kong address, travel and concierge services, access to trade promotions and events, translation services  office services and trademark and domain assistance.

Jong Lee, co-founder of CWA, said: “While Asia is already the biggest market for wine, the appreciation and appetite for great wines from around the world is still in its early stages and is rapidly developing and growing”

“We appreciate the good work that the Wine Institute and some of the larger California wineries have done and hope to support and build on their efforts to significantly elevate the California brand in the largest wine market in the world. Our goal is to facilitate successful market entry and help leading wineries achieve commercial critical mass with a trusted and focused industry partner based in the world’s #1 city for the wine industry, Hong Kong.”

Lam, former Hong Kong President and Asia CFO (ex-Japan) of the SOGO Japanese department store chain and CWA board advisor, believes that wine sales in Asia will grow by “at least” 100%” in the next several years commenting: “While Asia is already the biggest market for wine, the appreciation and appetite for great wines from around the world is still in its early stages and is rapidly developing and growing.”

CWA’s board of advisors includes industry leaders in Asia and California such as Harvey Posert, who has directed PR programs for Robert Mondavi, Opus One, California Wine Institute and was the California delegate to the Chinese National Agricultural Export Commission, and Johnathan Yi, managing director of DongA Group, a major player in the Korean commodity, food and beverage sectors

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