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Trade praise for Vinexpo 2016

The wine and spirits trade hailed this year’s Vinexpo as a great success with an increase in international visitors from 2014.

17,200 visitors poured through the doors at Vinexpo Hong Kong 2016 which was held on 24-26 May at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC).

On the whole, exhibitors were extremely positive about this year’s event which had an increase of 2.5% visitors compared to Vinexpo 2014 – but it was the quality of buyers which gained the most praise.

“We met very interested importers, very serious and professional,” said Nicolas Perinetti, export manager of Casarena Winery in Argentina.

Elsewhere, the well-organised events stream of Vinexpo was favoured, particularly its ‘One to Wine Meetings’ service which led to more than 1,300 on-stand meetings – no mean feat with thousands of visitors and 1,300 exhibitors milling about in a wine and spirits-fuelled atmosphere.

“Vinexpo Hong Kong is a fabulous exhibition, very well organised. My expectations were well surpassed. Both the One to Wine meetings and the unexpected encounters have provided new business opportunities,” said Euan McKay, import manager of Euan McKay Wine Merchant which is based in Australia.

China regained the number one visitor spot with an increase of 9% from 2014, but twice as many countries made up the numbers – from 25 to 51 – with the number of visitors from Vietnam increasing by 23% from 2014.

Despite a drop of 12% in visitors from host country Hong Kong, it still remained in second place, followed by Taiwan (up 3%) and South Korea (up 1%) and then Japan and Singapore.

Another development at this session of Vinexpo Hong Kong was the recovery of Australian imports and consequently the 21% increase in Australian visitors – with wine producers a prime market for Chinese buyers.

A stronger emphasis was also placed on fun yet educational events, with the ‘Vinexpo Challenge’ run by Jon Arvid Rosengren, voted Best Sommelier in the World 2016, putting visitors to the test in a blind tasting of 10 wines from around the world (quite tricky, dbHK can vouch) and the popular ‘Shiraz Day’ which shone a light on the varying styles and expressions of one of the world’s favourite grapes varieties.

Finally, with Italy highlighted as the country of honour for this year, visitors enjoyed the Italian-focused masterclasses and seminars with the show culminating in a lively aperitvo networking event, The Blend.

Hosted in the HKCEC on 25 May, The Blend entertained 1,540 guests with Italian wine, cocktails and canapés before revellers quite rightly continued the festivities in the many bars scattered across Hong Kong.

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