Local wine on the up in Hong Kong
The 8th Estate Winery, Hong Kong’s first own winery, made a splash in the media when it opened two years ago, writes Jessica Lam Hill Young.
Now, it seems more businesses are following suit with slightly different approaches to offer locally made wine to the wine-enthralled region.
By importing grapes harvested from around the world for local vinification, these Hong Kong wineries make up for the city’s lack of vineyards to offer a novel product.
While the 8th Estate has gained a loyal following for quality wines made with grapes flown in from top winemaking regions around the world, vinified in a high-rise warehouse that also functions as a party venue, other newer Hong Kong wineries are targeting a different niche.
For example, MUST Custom Winery, which opened in 2010, lets customers vinify, bottle and label their own wines under their own names in a lab-like setting, choosing from dozens of imported grape varieties and from various levels of sweetness, oak and other flavours.
The newest addition to Hong Kong’s wineries is Basse Winery, which opened just months ago with an upscale retail location in an urban area. All grapes are imported from Napa Valley to create about 40 locally made wines for sale in the store.
“My aim is nothing short of revolutionising the way Hong Kong people drink wine,” says owner Herbert Fok, a retiree. “Instead of a lot of hype about vintage, tannins, and balance, I want my wines to express the simplest experience with straightforward and recognisable fruit flavours for every occasion.”
It seems that in response to the public’s ever greater thirst for wine knowledge and variety, an urban winery fad is taking root in the city.