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DBAsia Awards 2023: The winners

The annual Drinks Business Asia Awards celebrate the impressive achievements of drinks companies in the Asia Pacific market. Here we reveal this year’s pick of the bunch.

The long-awaited return of The Drinks Business Asia Awards in its physical format marked a significant milestone after three years of waiting. The prestigious prize ceremony, held during Vinexpo Asia in Singapore, reaffirmed the awards as the pinnacle of recognition and excellence in the global alcoholic drinks industry. With its authoritative reputation, this event celebrates  exceptional accomplishments in a wide range of categories, encompassing retail buying, marketing, and events. Here are this year’s winners.


Winner: Ginsberg+Chan Wine Merchants Asia

Ginsberg+Chan Wine Merchants, a renowned wine-retail company in Hong Kong, has achieved remarkable success and solidified its position as a leader in the industry. With an unparalleled selection of wines, it provides exceptional service and a commitment to quality that sets it apart. Despite the challenges Hong Kong has faced in recent years,  including protests and the pandemic,  Ginsberg+Chan remains deeply committed to the city and its people. The company has been serving the region since 2010, offering a diverse wine list that encompasses benchmark bottles and  exciting new discoveries. The firm actively promotes wine culture through guided tastings and events, fostering a community of wine enthusiasts. With an expanded shop in Central, and an online  platform offering next-day delivery, Ginsberg+Chan continues to connect people from all walks of life through its passion for wine.


Winner: The Fine Wine Experience

Hong Kong’s The Fine Wine Experience attained impressive growth of 39% during the challenging period of 2021-2023, defying the adverse conditions faced by the industry. It quickly adapted to  the new landscape, launching online interactive experiences and increasing its video production to engage customers during lockdowns. As restrictions eased, it adopted a hybrid approach, offering instore and online events via Zoom. It also capitalised on the rise of home delivery by marketing wines that complemented various cuisines. The success of its restaurant, Bâtard, located  in its wine store, attracted full capacity crowds and introduced new customers to its retail business. Despite travel restrictions, the team continued to engage with wine domaines, expanding their  portfolio and strengthening the retailer’s presence in Hong Kong and mainland China. Looking ahead, The Fine Wine Experience plans to add further value to the region’s fine wine retail scene in  2023.

Runner-up: Crop & Vine


Winner: Links Concept

Links Concept is a family-owned company that excels in wine distribution, catering specifically to the on-trade sector in Hong Kong, Macau, and mainland China. With a portfolio of more than 60 renowned wine brands, including Louis Roederer, Yann Durieux, Marchesi Antinori, and Alvaro Palacios, it offers a wide range of exceptional wines from top-producing regions. In the past year,  the company achieved significant accomplishments, such as a 32% increase in SKUs sold, and an impressive 195% growth in revenue. Its success can be attributed to the company’s  customer-centric approach, adaptability, and innovative strategies. Links Concept stands out among wine distributors for its professional service, client support, and tailored wine-consultation services, delivered by an experienced team. Its dedication to excellence sets it apart from competitors in the industry.

Bojan Radulovic and Lisa Delcambre, of Links Concept Company, with Alice Liang


Winner: Campari Group and Metagroup for Negroni Week Hong Kong

Metagroup and Campari Hong Kong led the successful Negroni Week Hong Kong campaign, celebrating its 10th global anniversary. The objective was to make the event a citywide celebration and fundraising effort, engaging 80 participating outlets. The campaign achieved a social media reach of over 1.6 million, and won an Asian distributor award. Star-studded guests, competitions, and special variations on the classic Negroni recipe attracted more than 200 attendees to events during the week, and served more than 400 Negronis. Media coverage included outlets such as Tatler,  Yahoo!, Time Out, Sassy, Gafencu, and Localiiz. The campaign’s key achievements include 40 influencer posts with 995,000 impressions and 95 pieces of media coverage, with a total reach of  276,000 followers, and more than 4 million impressions. The campaign highlighted the camaraderie and resilience of Hong Kong’s bar industry while supporting philanthropic causes.

Runner-up: The Fine Wine Experience Burghound Symposium 2023

Roger Chan, Metagroup; Elena Windholtz Eclipse Beverages; dbAsia’s Alice Liang


Winner: Metagroup World Whisky (South Korea)

Metabev Korea achieved great success with the launch of the World Whisky initiative, an event held at the prestigious Hyundai Department Store in Seoul. Over two weeks, the event showcased a curated selection of New World Whisky brands, allowing attendees to experience a global whisky journey. The event attracted 50,000 visitors, and received extensive media coverage, effectively raising brand awareness for the company and the World Whisky concept. The immersive airline-inspired pop-up received praise for its authenticity and attention to detail. The event generated  more than 200 million KRW in revenue and served as a strategic milestone, setting the stage for further expansion of the World Whisky portfolio.

The success of this event solidifies Metabev Korea’s position as a leader in the whisky industry and highlights their commitment to delivering exceptional experiences to consumers.


Winner: Crop & Vine

Young company Crop & Vine boasts an extensive selection of top-end wines from renowned regions like Burgundy, Bordeaux, Champagne, the Rhône, and the US. The company has successfully  old high-value wine cases, with the most expensive to date reaching £160,000.

With locations in Hong Kong, the UK, and Europe, Crop & Vine offers unique coverage and access to buyers. Its online portfolio tools allow clients to manage their wines across multiple merchants, providing a distinct advantage. Crop & Vine’s websites and product listings in the UK, Hong Kong, and China facilitate seamless digital interactions with customers. And with staff  proficient in Cantonese, Mandarin, English, French, and Italian, clients receive exceptional service.

Best Newcomer: Hugo Poon of Crop & Vine


Winner: Belu

Dedicated to promoting sustainability and environmental consciousness, Belu was founded in the UK 20 years ago, and has a clear mission to transform the perception of water use worldwide. In  2021, it launched its successful Filter in Action initiative in Hong Kong, encouraging the hospitality industry to replace imported bottled water with premium filtered water on tap packaged in reusable glass bottles, aiming to combat waste and reduce carbon emissions. Belu’s solutions align with UN Sustainable Development Goals, and the company has donated £5.5 million to WaterAid, benefiting more than 360,000 people. Belu operates as a social enterprise, sharing its business model to inspire others. Its water filtration system has gained traction in Hong Kong,  with partnerships with 22 venues, demonstrating revenue growth, waste reduction, and emission savings. Belu’s transparent reporting and verification of its sustainability claims sets the business apart, and it plans to expand its influence in Hong Kong and explore new opportunities across Asia in 2023.

Runner-up: Cape Byron Distillery

Green Company: Elena Windholtz, brand manager, Eclipse Beverages/Metagroup


Winner: Metagroup

Metagroup has achieved significant growth in the past year. With subsidiaries in Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, and China, it has expanded its portfolio to include renowned brands such as Peroni, Grolsch, Pilsner Urquell, Aperol, Campari, Wild Turkey, Cuervo, and Fever-Tree. Despite the challenges posed by Covid-19, the company’s headcount has doubled to more than 100 employees.

Brand-management and distribution company Metabev has become an official partner of the Save Hong Kong F&B initiative, supporting the industry during the pandemic. Eclipse Beverages provides export management services, while Hindsight Creative specialises in digital marketing and content production. Metagroup’s commitment to corporate social responsibility is evident through initiatives like the F&B Run Club, which raised funds for charity and exceeded their goal of running the equivalent distance as from Earth to the moon. Metagroup continues to foster meaningful partnerships and expand its presence in the food and beverage market across the Asia Pacific region.

Best Drinks Company: Roger Chan; Elena Windholtz; Adam Green, export director, Eclipse Beverages; Alice Liang



Winner: Roger Chan, Metagroup chairman

Roger Chan is the chairman of Metagroup, a leading food and beverage company with subsidiaries such as Metabev and Eclipse Beverages. Born in England and raised in Hong Kong, Chan has made significant contributions to the drinks trade throughout his career. After holding positions in prominent organisations such as Deloitte, Chan embarked on restructuring his family business, which eventually became Metagroup. Under his leadership, the company and its subsidiaries have thrived and established themselves as key players in the industry.

Metabev, the importation and distribution arm, represents prestigious brands in Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea, and China. Chan also founded Hindsight Creative, a digital marketing agency catering to F&B and lifestyle sectors. Additionally, Eclipse Beverages provides expert advisory and consultation services for export management and route-to-market strategies.

Chan’s commitment to giving back is evident through initiatives like the F&B Run Club, mentioned earlier, a charity-driven endeavour that supports the F&B industry, as well as the mental and physical wellness of participants. The running club has raised HK$420,000 for charitable organisations. Furthermore, Chan has received numerous awards for his industry contributions and is involved in successful ventures, including Vero chocolates, Giando restaurant concepts, Attire House, and Bar De Luxe. He strives to inspire future entrepreneurs and believes in the “power of people” as the key to success in the beverage industry. Along with his talented team, Chan envisions Metagroup making significant strides in global beverage markets in the coming years.

Alice Liang presents the lifetime achievement award to Metagroup’s Roger Chan


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