Grape Press: Aussie wine in China, Hong Kong auctions, ‘Food & Wine Year”

A few China wine-related items from the Net…

China among few bright spots for Aussie wine exporters

While the Australian wine sector faces a crisis, including its first major decline in export volume and value in years, Hong Kong and mainland China rank among the few positive markets:

Rare bright spots included China, which imported 32% more Australian wine by value, off a low base, as well as Hong Kong (up 17%) and Japan (up 4.1%).

By the way, here is a money quote for China watchers:

But that is small comfort to March, who admits taking advice to try to sell into China at the lowest price possible – a few US dollars a bottle – and hoping to ride the tail of the country’s growing wine fascination, moving up the quality later.

“They told us don’t worry, the Chinese don’t know what they’re drinking. I reckon a few growers round here will be pulling out vines by the end of the year,” he says.

(Hat tip to 8 Songs for the reference)

Sothesby’s joins Hong Kong wine auction fray

Sotheby’s will hold regular wine auctions in Hong Kong, although the financial crunch is expected to result in lower bids, reports Reuters. An upcoming auction will feature 9,000 bottles from an American collector, with plenty of much sought high-end Bordeaux:

The auction will be held in two parts, in New York on March 14th and Hong Kong on April 4th. The Hong Kong sale will be the larger of the two with $3 million worth of wine expected to be sold and another $2 million in New York.

“We believe the wines will sell here as well, or better than, they would in New York,” Jamie Ritchie, Sotheby’s head of wine in North America, told Reuters….

Wine auctions in the city by rivals such as Bonhams and Acker Merrall & Condit in the first half of last year achieved record results, before demand eased off in the second half.

Rival auction house Christie’s, however, hammered off $4 million of wine at a Hong Kong in late November, including rare vintages sourced direct from Chateau Latour’s reserve cellars.

Hong Kong to launch “Food & Wine Year”

In an effort to attract tourists from mainland China, the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) will launch a “Food & Wine Year”, states China Hospitality News:

HKTB says it will make full use of Hong Kong’s expertese in food and the SAR government’s preferential policy for wine taxation to create a unique tourism image for Hong Kong and enhance tourists’ interest to the city.

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