After its resounding success in 2010, Vinexpo Asia-Pacific, the International Wine Exposition for Asia and the Pacific, will be held in Hong Kong on 29, 30 and 31 May, 2012.
In 2010, Vinexpo Asia-Pacific reached a new threshold, with 882 exhibitors from 35 countries that, for three days, offered the widest range of wines to more than 12,600 visitors and professionals who came from all around the Asia-Pacific area.
According to the latest study of IWSR/Vinexpo, Asia will experience the largest increase in wine markets in the next 5 years with a 5% annual growth compared to the world average which is less than 1%. The Asia-Pacific region remains the main consumer of alcoholic beverages, with 50.6% of total consumption of alcoholic beverages in the world. This is why the market for wine and spirits in Asia is particularly strong.
Having abolished taxes on wine, Hong Kong has become the gateway to Asia for the wine imports. Hong Kong is attractive and influential in Asia, making it an advantageous place for holding international events such as Vinexpo Asia-Pacific.
During the course of this exhibition, it will be attended by more than 1050 exporters and wine producers from 28 countries. Also, 14-15000 visitors and professionals are expected from throughout the Asia-Pacific. These visitors come from all sectors: trade (import, export, sales), retail, hyper and supermarkets, hospitality (cafes, restaurants and hotels), duty free (duty free shops, airlines, ferry/cruise lines), and e-commerce.
It is interesting to know the perception they have of Spanish wines, its positioning in the market and the possibilities for Spanish wineries to succeed in the Asia-Pacific. Many experts agree on some points:
  • There is great ignorance of Spanish wine. However, the perception people have of Spain is positive and relatively well known for flamenco, tapas and sports.
  • There is no importer specializing in Spanish wines, nor shops or restaurants.
  • Spain has not yet reacted to the phenomenon of wine in Hong Kong. There are few campaigns to penetrate the market and to promote Spanish wines.
  • Importers and buyers complain that wineries do not follow-up, information on wines is poor as it is usually not translated to English or other languages, and the vast majority of partners barely speak English.
  • Spain lacks a strategy as a country to promote its wines.
The wineries and Spanish professionals should realize that Hong Kong is the gateway to the huge Asian market, because there are no taxes on wine and no problems for the export of wines. In fact, it is easier to ship wine to Hong Kong than to the Canary Islands, which is very convenient to carry out tastings or fairs for the promotion and finding of buyers in the region. The city has become a center for the wine business in the world and it is eager to learn. Although for now the buyers’ attention is focused on Bordeaux, sooner or later, the Asian market will seek wines from other regions and so the Spanish wine has to be present and break into this market as soon as possible.
The Spanish wines that are having better reception in the Asian market so far are Viña Gravonia Crianza (Viña Tondonia, Rioja) and Marco Real Reserve 2005 (Bodegas Marco Real, D.O. Navarra), which are on the top 10 list of best wines published by the magazine Wine in China. Among the top 50 are also San Román and Prima (Bodegas Maurodos), and Muga Reserve (Bodegas Muga).