January 2013

Frenzy on the sales floor: Acker says Hong Kong wine auction sets 115 world records

January 30, 2013 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce Hong Kong had a super humungous wine auction last weekend if the press release from the organizer — Acker Merral & Conduit — is any indication. It states that the tw0-day sale broke 115 world records — pretty much everything but Usain’s Bolt mark in the 100 meters, it seems. But you know what sucks to this outside observer? That only 96 percent of the lots sold. If Acker had gotten rid of everything, the number of records could have been even higher. That’s all I’m saying. Anyway, the total reported sales were HKD52 million / USD6.78 […]

Squeezed dry? California Grapes in Beijing looks awfully empty tonight

January 30, 2013 // 2 Comments

By Jim Boyce Given these photos, it looks like California Grapes in Sanlitun Soho is a) preparing for renovations less than six months after opening, b) in need of a clean up after a bash so big most of the wine got guzzled and the ensuing chaos saw the posters stripped from the walls and the furniture tossed into the cold Beijing night or c) closed. I have yet to hear back from Frank Yglesias, the guy behind this wine shop / bar, but there is no doubt this place is a tough sell given it: a) has a tough […]

China Bulk Wine Imports: Spain vs Chile, Volume vs Value in 2012 Customs Stats

January 24, 2013 // 1 Comment

By Jim Boyce Chile and Spain dominated the bulk wine sector in China in 2012. Recentlyreleased Customs stats show the pair held 69 percent of the market by volume and 64 percent by value, with Italy, France and Australia rounding out the top five although all about five laps behind. A comparison of the big boys reveals very different stories. Spain easily dominated by volume in 2011 but found itself neck-in-neck with Chile this year, taking 36 percent to its competitor’s 33 percent. The race was nowhere near as close in terms of value as  Chile easily outperformed Spain, nearly […]

China Wine Imports Cool: Sobering Customs Stats for 2012 Now Out

January 23, 2013 // 2 Comments

By Jim Boyce Growing by hops and jumps instead of leaps and bounds. That might best describe the wine import situation in China during the past year. Customs stats for 2012 show wine imports increased at a far slower pace than at any other time in recent years. Those expecting annual growth of 50 percent or more will be disappointed by a rise of 10 percent — up to 266 million liters from 241 million liters in 2011. Indeed, that is disappointing for China although elsewhere such a number would be seen as a success. In fact, it should be […]

New deal: Up to 25 shops in China for Canadian winery Pilliterri

January 23, 2013 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce Dan Dakin of the St. Catherines Standard reports that up to 25 shops dedicated to Canadian winery Pilliterri Estates will open in China as part of a recent deal: As part of a Premier Dalton McGuinty-led trade mission to China last week, the Niagara-on-the-Lake company signed an agreement with Canbest International Trading to develop wine stores in the world’s most populated country. The deal was announced by the government as being worth $20 million over the next three years, though Pillitteri’s president of operations said it’s more realistically worth between $5 million and $10 million…. Pillitteri had […]

Pre-ProWein: China focus of Meininger’s one-day wine conference in Germany

January 19, 2013 // 2 Comments

~ By Jim Boyce ProWein is a massive annual German wine show with huge tents, oodles of oom-pah-pah bands and voluptuous leiderhosen-clad servers walking about with fistfuls of dangerously full glasses. Actually, to be honest, I haven’t been to this event, and I might be confusing it with Oktoberfest, but what is important to this post is what is happening the day before ProWein. German publishing house Meininger’s will hold a one-day wine conference on March 23 that will include quite a bit of China content. The afternoon session, starting at 2 PM, will be dedicated to “The Chinese Market” […]

Fifty kuai, all you can try: 60-bottle tasting by ‘cool climate’ importer Wine Republic

January 19, 2013 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce If you didn’t make it to the last Wine Republic mini-portfolio tasting / guzzle fest — at Switch! in Beijing last month — you get a second chance today. This importer / distributor will have more than 60 wines available for sampling at Flamme, with all bottles available at half price, according to a flyer sent out by the company. The event runs from 3 PM to 6 PM. The entry fee is rmb50 and gets you a gift certificate of equal value at Flamme, which I believe would be wisely invested in a Maker’s Mark Manhattan. […]

Oh, great: Acker’s Hong Kong auction has lots from mystery men, Dujac, Roulot

January 18, 2013 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce The upcoming Acker Merrall & Condit wine auction in Hong Kong — the year’s first for the company — should be pretty, um, great if the press release is any indication. “Great”, or its derivatives, is used twenty-nine times (29!) in that missive. Not to be picky, but does anyone at Acker et al have a thesaurus? Anyway, given the upcoming Chinese New Year, it seems appropriate this auction strikes me as somewhat of a two-headed snake. Not only because it is being held over two days (January 25 and January 26) but also because it features, […]

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