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Vinexpo reports 40% increase

The organisers of Hong Kong’s Vinexpo Asia-Pacific have announced attendees were up by 40% compared to the last show two years ago.

This ‘record ‘ increase, Vinexpo chief executive Robert Beynat said, showed ‘Asia is now the most dynamic and happening market in the wine and spirits world.’

Over the course of the three-day event, which finishes today (Thursday), 880 exhibitors from 32 countries showed their wines to an anticipated 12,000 visitors.

Exhibitors came from almost every wine producing region of the world. As well as the main players there were stalls from China, Austria, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Portugal and Germany, among many others.

There were sizable contingents from America (including Napa Valley Vintners, absent from last week’s London Wine and Spirit Fair), Spain and Italy.

There was however a notable dearth of some countries: the Australians were notable by their absence, fielding no trade organizations and less than a dozen producers, fewer than Germany, Greece or Romania.

This is surprising. Australia’s proximity to China, its history of export expertise, its accessible wines and the fact that many young Chinese study there, mean it is often touted as the country most likely to break into the mainland Chinese market after France.

Fifty-five percent of visitors were from 25 Asian countries, the majority from China, followed by Taiwan, Japan, Korea and Singapore; 42% were from Hong Kong and Macau.

There were 1000 more visitors from mainland China compared to 2008.

Four hundred journalists attended, 90% of them from Asia.

The increase in visitors reflected burgeoning wine consumption in Asia, which was ‘increasing four times faster than the world average and is expected to continue in the next five years,’ Beynat added.

Vinexpo is in Hong Kong for the fourth time: organisers said the decision had not been made as to whether to return in 2012.

Beynat finished the press conference by commenting on the fact that Chinese vineyard plantings were increasing as fast as its citizens were getting a taste for wine.

‘If our presence here encourages the Chinese to plant more vines then that is a real success. The more vines they plant, the more wine they will drink and the more wine they will import.’

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Written by Adam Lechmere in Hong Kong

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