Veronafiere, the company that runs Vinitaly, is to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the government of Hong Kong which may result in a Vinitaly-style wine fair in Hong Kong.
This follows up the commitment signed in May 2009 in which Italy and Hong Kong agreed to co-operate on wine-related businesses.
The new MOU focuses specifically on a partnership with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council’s International Wine & Spirits Fair.
Benjamin Chau, Deputy Executive Director of the HKTDC, is meeting with Italian government officials and trade associations and will attend Vinitaly – 8-12 in Verona – specifically to finalise the new agreement.
‘Italy recognises Hong Kong’s efforts to become a wine hub for Asia,’ said Giovanni Mantovani, CEO of Veroniafere.
‘Under the umbrella of Vinitaly, Italian producers will be able to communicate with the local Hong Kong market – and also develop Asian markets in general.’
In 2009, Hong Kong imported €9m (£7.9m) worth of Italian wine, almost 20% more than the previous year.
‘In the past, Italian producers have held various tastings in Hong Kong but in a very fragmented way,’ said Mantovani.
‘With Vinitaly World Tour as the brand, plan to take a more targeted approach to promoting Italian wine.’
Vinitaly – now in its 44th year – is the largest wine fair, with around 4,500 exhibitors.
The HKTDC Wine & Spirits Fair had its second edition in November 2009, with 525 exhibitors.
Bordeaux 2009: All the coverage
Written by Maggie Rosen