What’s hot in Hong Kong

Memories of cheque-book waving Chinese mobbing Berry Bros & Rudd’s Hong Kong office have long faded, but Simon Staples, the firm’s sales director for Asia, says it isn’t all doom and gloom.

Surveyor Thomson Pinot

Surveyor Thomson Pinot Noir from Central Otago was BBR Asia’s best-selling wine by volume in August

How’s life in China?

I came here two years ago and was seduced by the fact it’s such an amazing market. But it’s so important to stress getting wine into China and selling it is almost impossible legally and professionally. Someone in Beijing is not going to pay the fee-laden tax price you should charge on fine wine in China. It’s completely against their mentality. So people come to Hong Kong or Europe [to buy] because it’s cheaper. Only in Shanghai is there any sort of market whatsoever.

Is there still faith in en primeur?

To be honest the 2010 killed it in Hong Kong. Even with two great vintages back to back, the market couldn’t stand a high price vintage. In 2009 60% of our en primeur we sold was in Hong Kong. In 2010 it was 10% and this year it’s woeful – I think about 1%.

Any positive signs?

I’ve been promising green shoots for 18 months, and every month I’m surprised it hasn’t happened. But actually prices have been rising. We had £400,000 of First Growth sales last week – that’s the first time in months we’ve sold anything like that amount.

And beyond top-end Bordeaux?

In China there’s definite interest beyond the First Growths. Off the top of my head we’re 56% down on Bordeaux and 10% on Burgundy. But we’re 35% and 50% up on Italian and Spanish. I think it’s not so much the value there. It’s just people want to experiment with new things

What about the crackdown on luxury goods?

Well, in terms of gift-giving it’s not that high volume at all, and I’ve yet to meet anyone who was actually at one of these banquets.

Berry Bros. & Rudd (Asia) August sales (up to 21.08.14)

Most expensive wines

1 case x 3 Pétrus Magnums 1961, 64, 67 – £37,800 IB OWC

1 case x 12 Pétrus 1970 – £33,000

1 case x 12 Le Pin 1989 – £20,500

Most expensive lines

3 cases x 12 DRC Assortments 2011 – £20,850 per case

20 cases 2000 Latour – £7,400

18 cases 2000 Cheval Blanc – £5,450

Best selling wines

Surveyor Thomson, Pinot Noir, Central Otago, New Zealand

Ch. Villa Bel-Air, Graves (Rouge)

Thienot Brut Champagne

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Sales Representative - Private Customers

Corney and Barrow
Central Hong Kong, HK

Export Manager UK On Trade

AdVini
Home based in London or the South East, GB

Global Head of Marketing

ATOM Brands
Tunbridge Wells, GB

Sales Executive

Three Wine Men
Home-based but must be available to travel throughout the UK with frequent trips to London, GB

Senior Sales Operations Executive

Enotria&Coe
Park Royal, London, GB

Sales Administrator

Les Caves de Pyrène
Guildford, UK

On Trade & Corporate Accounts Manager

The Champagne Company
Birmingham, UK

Customer Service Assistant

The Champagne Company
Birmingham, UK

Key Account Manager - Distilling Sector - Scotland

Boortmalt
Scotland - call for exact details, UK

UK Brand Ambassador - Ableforth’s

ATOM Brands
Field-based, UK

Pink Rosé Festival

Cannes,France
7th Feb 2018

VinoVision Paris

Paris,France
12th Feb 2018

Vinisud

Montpellier,France
18th Feb 2018
Click to view more

The Global Pinot Noir Masters 2018

Deadline : 26th January 2018

Cabernet Sauvignon Masters 2018

Deadline : 23rd February 2018

Click to view more

The Global Malbec Masters 2017

the drinks business is proud to announce the inaugural Global Malbec Masters 2017

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

the drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Sparkling Masters.

Click to view more