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Hong Kong love affair with Burgundy will continue – merchant

Hong Kong's wine scene will continue to branch out from Bordeaux as consumer tastes develop, Altaya's managing director, Paulo Pong, said at this year's Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair.

Demand for Burgundy wines, already a hallmark of Hong Kong’s wine scene so far in 2013, was particularly apparent at this year’s show, which took place at the end of last week and over the weekend.

Speaking to decanter.com on the sidelines of the event, Pong, who was ranked 42nd on Decanter most recent Power List, said Burgundy’s stock continues to rise. ‘This is a region that I believe will see more growth,’ he said.

‘It’s a phase that a lot of the wine lovers go through. They start off with Bordeaux, they might explore some New World wines, and then they somehow arrive to Burgundy.’

The key problem with Burgundy, however, is that supplies can be limited due to the small-scale nature of production at many estates.

Partly for that reason, Pong said he sees rising interest in wines from elsewhere. A large number of Italian producers attended this year’s fair in Hong Kong. Spanish wines also have promise, he believes.

‘Previously, I was complaining that Hong Kong has no good Spanish restaurants [and] therefore we are not importing a lot of Spanish wines,’ said Pong. ‘But, all of a sudden in 2013 there seems to have been a huge number of new openings of Spanish restaurants, which I believe will continue to do well next year.’

Pong described the atmosphere at this year’s Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair as ‘generally extremely optimistic’. The show attracted just over 1,000 exhibitors, up from 954 last year.

However, there were mixed views from visitors on the floor, with some reporting that they felt this year’s fair was quieter than in previous years.

There is also concern in the region as a whole about short-term prospects for fine wine sales on the Chinese mainland.

Read decanter.com later this week to hear more on this subject from the ProWine expo in Shanghai.

Written by Francesca Martin (Edited by Chris Mercer)

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