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Alsace in the spotlight at Le French GourMay

Now in its eighth year, Hong Kong’s annual French-focused food and drink festival, Le French GourMay will shine a light on the historic and picturesque region of Alsace.

The picturesque wine-producing village of Colmar in Alsace.

The oenologist for the Conseil Interprofesionnel des Vins d’Alsace (CIVA), Thierry Fritsch opened the press preview by speaking of Alsace wines’ evolution since the Middle Ages where the production was mainly focused on red wine, but has now grown to be 90% white, to suit the relatively rich cuisine of Alsace which included sausage, foie gras, cheese and its version of sauerkraut, choucroute.

“There’s no MLF in our wines, and there’s always a backbone of acidity and freshness,” he said. “These are wines for drinking with food, and compared to other regions in France, offer outstanding value for money.”

Le French GourMay is Hong Kong’s annual month-long festival which focuses on a different French region and together with hundreds of Hong Kong’s restaurants and wine importers, offers a plethora of food and wine-based activities throughout the month of May.

Alsace, with currently 15,500 hectares under vine of AOC wines, 4,400 producers and 150 million bottles produced annually, has “found a natural home here in Hong Kong,” continued Fritsch and its interest for its aromatic whites and elegant Pinot Noir is only increasing.

Export figures in 2013 revealed 75% of Alsace wines were exported to Europe and 4% were devoted to Asia where Japan, China and Hong Kong are the biggest players, yet Hong Kong is increasing its demand for Alsace’s aromatic whites of Gewürztraminer, Riesling, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris and also for its sparkling wine, Cremant d’Alsace made from Pinot Blanc.

“Hong Kong is a fast growing market for Alsace wine, year on year. In 2015, we increased the exports to Hong Kong by 15% to meet this demand.

“Our Cremant d’Alsace now represents 25% of production and Asia consumers are getting very keen consumers  – they appreciate its aromatics and off-dry character.“

Eric Berti, the French Consul for Hong Kong and Macau also added: “For our eighth edition of Le French GourMay, we’re reaching a wider audience.

“French wines make up 60% of the market share in Hong Kong and some of the oldest Alsace producers, Hugel and Trimbach for example, have been present here for over 20 years. Riesling and Gewürztraminer pair naturally with Chinese cuisine, so it was inevitable we’d focus on this beautiful historic region before too long.”



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