Grape Press: Latour in Hong Kong, Halliday in Taiwan, mangosteens in Thailand

Some China-related wine news from the Web…

Halliday in Taiwan
Food Week
reports that Australian wine critic James Halliday is heading to Taipei this month “as part of an Austrade initiative to promote premium Australian wines to consumers, tastemakers, and buyers in Taiwan and China.” Taipei-based Yvonne Chan of Austrade is quoted as saying, “Cultural similarities mean Taiwan’s wine critics also have a say in influencing consumer preferences in China.”

The Taipei visit complements initiatives, such as the Landmark Australia media tasting in Beijing in October, to shift focus to pricier wines. Or as Halliday put it in the article, “With the history and romance of wine linked to perceptions that Europe is the preferred source of premium wines, there is still a lot of work to be done to help consumers in North East Asia understand that premium quality Australian wines compete with the world’s best.”

Record prices for Latour lot
Hong Kong continues to make headlines as 12 bottles of 1961 Chateau Latour fetched a record 1.32 million at Christie’s first wine auction there in seven years. That was more than double the estimated haul. Overall, 231 of the 246 lots sold, for a total of 31.5 million Hong Kong dollars. I guess everyone is stocking up for that economic crisis thingy. By the way, one Hong Kong-based wine collector was quoted as saying, “I’m surprised by the prices at this auction.” No doubt so was Christie’s.

Mangosteens in Thailand
What to do when your joint venture with a Chinese winery struggles and then your ensuing job at a bigger producer doesn’t work out? How about shifting from Malbec to mangosteens? That’s what Dominic Rivard did by leaving China and setting up an operation just outside Bangkok to make wine – from lychees, passion fruit, and mangosteens. Interesting read…

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Grape Press: Macau wine tax, China as Chile, Hart Davis Hart auction

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