On November 9, the BC Wine Institute successfully held a Wines of British Columbia Masterclass, showcasing top quality BC VQA Wine at the China Club in Hong Kong. Led by The Drinks Business Senior Editor Rupert Millar and Master of Wine Rhys Pender, the seminar explored some of the representative quality wine styles from British Columbia including: Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and red blends from the Okanagan Valley and Similkameen Valley.
Last week, the Wines of British Columbia partnered with The Drinks Business Hong Kong to bring 16 BC VQA Wines to Hong Kong in an advanced educational BC VQA Wine Masterclass for the first time, attracting over 40 industry professionals.
“With a focus on developing export markets and gaining international recognition for the Wines of British Columbia, this was an exclusive opportunity to promote the specific climates and terroirs that give BC VQA Wines their unique, premium positioning in the Hong Kong market,” said Miles Prodan, British Columbia Wine Institute CEO and President. “The Drinks Business is a leading global industry publication with a worldwide reputation in the international fine wine market, and we were thrilled to partner with them to showcase our exceptional quality wines to key wine trade and media.”
“We are very excited to be collaborating with the British Columbia Wine Institute to present the high-quality wines of British Columbia to the trade in Hong Kong,” noted Ivy Ng, The Drinks Business Hong Kong publisher. “This was a very interesting masterclass and the quality, balance and diversity of the wines speak for the decades of hard work and conviction that have gone into giving this region of Canada an amazing line-up of wines, putting it on the wine world map as a quality region.”
The masterclass was held over a 90-minute expert-led wine tasting and seminar featuring 16 premium BC VQA Wines, followed by a 30-minute tasting corner reception, where guests had the opportunity to mingle and try a selection of other BC VQA Wine styles.
“We received very positive feedback from the participants who were all impressed by the range of wines produced in BC, the quality, balance and the concentration achieved by the wines,” added Ng.
Presenter and Master of Wine Rhys Pender was pleased with the level of engagement and interest in the wines expressed by the attendees. “Hong Kong has become one of the world’s most important wine markets,” he noted. “Although nearly all BC wine is sold within BC, it’s imperative that we continue growing our international reputation for quality, premium wines by exporting a small amount of our top wines to the most important wine cities. Hong Kong definitely falls into that category.”
After the removal of wine import duties in February 2008, Hong Kong became a wine trading and distribution hub for Asia. Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and industry association strategies have identified Hong Kong as one of their global priority export markets, and the Chinese wine market poses numerous opportunities for Canadian businesses. China currently ranks as the top export market for Canadian wine, although Canada’s total exports to China remain low compared to other wine exporting nations.
The Canadian Vintners Association released a report stating total Canadian wine exports have increased 400 per cent since 2010 as per statistics obtained from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. As of August 2016, total BC wine exports to all countries have increased 117 per cent in Canadian dollars per litre since 2011.
BC’s wine industry has grown exponentially over the last few years attracting winemakers from across the globe, creating highly sought after wines that are now breaking into the Asian markets.
In August, the BCWI welcomed Master of Wine Debra Meiburg from Hong Kong to tour BC’s wine producing regions and present the keynote address at the BCWI’s Asian Markets Export Symposium, where she shared her insights into the markets of Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and China with the BC wine industry.
“This is an exciting time for our industry, as BC VQA Wines continue to attain international achievements and awards in premier wine competitions, gaining traction among top wine critics in the world,” said Prodan. “It’s important that we continue seeking opportunities to educate BC wineries on key international export markets, as well as engage trade and media within these markets through collaborations like these.”
Participating BC VQA Wineries
C.C. Jentsch Cellars
CedarCreek Estate Winery
Clos du Soleil Winery
Culmina Family Estate Winery
Ex Nihilo Vineyards
Gehringer Brothers Estate Winery
Laughing Stock Vineyards
Martin’s Lane Winery
Meyer Family Vineyards
Okanagan Crush Pad Winery Haywire
Osoyoos Larose Estate Winery
Poplar Grove Winery
Quails’ Gate Winery
Summerhill Pyramid Winery