Vinexpo ASIA: a must-visit event for Asia-Pacific

June 04, 2024 | 15:00
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A major wine exhibition has connected producers from every wine-producing country around the world with decision-makers in growth markets over three exceptional days.

Vinexpo Asia 2024 in Hong Kong closed on May 30 after welcoming over 14,000 visitors from 60 countries eager to re-establish one-to-one relationships with their peers in the industry. The businessmatching service facilitated deals between buyers and exhibitors through the online platform, with over 4,200 pre-booked meetings.

Vinexpo ASIA: a must-visit event for Asia-Pacific

With a schedule of more than 50 events from seminars and talk shows to wine tasting masterclasses and networking events, the event created a global rendezvous for business meetings and showcased over 1,000 wine and spirits producers from 35 countries. Over 30 per cent of the exhibitors were from France, reflecting the importance of French wines in the Asia market. The Australian wine industry also made a huge showing with 85 wineries.

“Vinexpo Asia returned to Hong Kong after 26 years and marks the resumption of the global wine industry. Through the event, we can see the potential of key markets in India, Southeast Asia, and China,” said Dane Cheng, executive director of the Hong Kong Tourism Board.

Vinexpo ASIA: a must-visit event for Asia-Pacific

In the opening address, Vinexposium CEO Rodolphe Lameyse highlighted some of the many challenges the industry is currently facing, and observed a change in mindset among wine and spirits producers towards a more proactive marketing strategy, moving from a “pull” to a “push” approach.

“The event has been buzzing with the sound of new contacts and discoveries being made, along with the renewal of lasting partnerships and friendships which are the backbone of our industry,” Lameyse said.

Nimmi Malhotra, a wine and drinks trader based in Singapore added, “Asia is the future of wine, with scores of emerging markets brimming with untapped wine drinkers. Countries like Thailand have lowered the barrier to entry following a massive drop in taxes while South Korea is voraciously consuming reds, and Vietnam is turning to wine as their social drink of choice. The producers are increasingly taking note, and I expect more ground activities in our region than ever before.”

According to the World Health Organization, Vietnam will be the biggest consumer of alcohol in general per capita in Asia next year, with 91.5 per cent of its intake being beer, 7.7 per cent spirits, and 0.8 per cent of wine.

In Asia, China is a highly strategic market for exhibitors, with 19 per cent growth in wine and spirits expected by 2027, according to the IWSR. China was the buzz word of the event, with producers and buyers eager to find out about the fast-changing consumption trends in the world’s biggest consumer market.

Along with a wide variety of traditional wine brands from France, Italy, Australia, the US, Chile, South Africa, and Spain, Vinexpo Asia 2024 marked an ideal opportunity to meet representatives of new wineries with various new and unique choices from Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, and China, among others.

At the event, visitors also had the chance to taste and chat with leaders of independent spirit startups about their inception, distribution, and attracting investment.

Held in Singapore and Hong Kong in alternating years, Vinexpo Asia will return to the former in 2025 on May 27-30.

Vinexpo ASIA: a must-visit event for Asia-Pacific

KC Yum, Marketing manager Lueng Heng F&B

Joining the Vinexpo Asia is a great choice for starup producers like us. This time, I brought our unique drink - durian liqueur. Malaysian durian is exceptional with its thin flesh but rich sweet and strong flavours that is perfect to become durian liqueur.

Our liqueur is loved by most Asian people as it is a dessert drink after a meal. Highly recommended to add on as topping for desserts and smoothies or Vanilla ice-cream, the flavour is delicious and acceptable widerly. Adding equal part of Jägermeister it can be a shot drink too.

Marie Wang, Visitor, Tilleule Agency

This is a great opportunity to learn, taste and exchange ideas about wine. I am just a wine lover and wished to come to Vinexpo 2024 to learn more about wines, and how to taste and enjoy it.

I am very excited with these tasting events, especially the Les B+D Grand Tasting, and it’s great to taste and hear interesting and useful knowledge shared by wine cellar owners and winemakers. I am also impressed with the zero-alcohol and low-alcohol drinks panel discussion. It’s a great healthy trend.

Yiting Li, business development executive ZJLD Group

As a distributor based in Hong Kong, we bring traditional alcohol to Vinexpo Asia to introduce our art of drinks to the world. China’s alcohol is exceptional, and we bring technical traditions from ancient times. It’s strong, but rich and thick with flavours from coffee and rice to yellow flowers to fruit.

For drinking trends, I think it depends on the culture and region. The Vinexpo is actually a great venue to exchange knowledge and information between manufacturers, buyers, and sellers, as well as a rendezvous for alcohol and non-alcohol lovers.

Yuki Shimizu, CEO, Choya Umeshu Southeast Asia

Vietnam is one of our target markets. However, our sales volume has been lower in recent years. It’s a pity that this year’s event did not have many Vietnamese traders and I have not seen any Vietnamese winemakers and products here.

I remember that Vietnam has special rice and sticky-rice alcohol. I once visited Hanoi several years ago. It was very cold, and I remember loving Hanoi’s bun cha. I love to enjoy it and pair it with our Choya apricot wine.

Cherry Dee Leguira, general manager Vino Enoteca Manila Corporation

At Vinexpo Asia this year, I have my sights set on several wines and spirits that I am thrilled to explore, especially new releases and underrated wine regions.

I am also eager to try innovative offerings. Vinexpo Asia is the ideal venue to discover the latest trends and innovations in both wines and spirits.

Such events not only give people a chance to taste new products, but also to learn from experienced sommeliers about the different regions the wines come from, and the passion that goes into making them. Each wine, after all, has its own unique story.

Wine world in search of fresh range Wine world in search of fresh range

The wine industry faces numerous challenges, such as evolving consumer preferences. Rodolphe Lameyse, CEO of Vinexposium, spoke with VIR’s Nhat Ha about his experiences promoting the wine industry worldwide and targeting potential new markets.

Hong Kong toasts return of Vinexpo Asia Hong Kong toasts return of Vinexpo Asia

Vinexpo Asia, the region’s leading international wine and spirits trade exhibition, opened to much celebration at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre this week.

By Duc Hanh

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