Last week in Hong Kong was the bi-annual Asia-Pacific version of the hugely popular VINEXPO wine trade fair. It is a place where the entire wine world meets, exchanges technical and marketing ideas, and where new wines are on showcase. It is also a time when buyers often make purchasing decisions based on market trends and what is new in the industry.
I spent the week in Hong Kong and am glad to report that the very busy event showed a fast growing interest in fruit wines on all fronts.
Being an international event, there were fruit wines from all corners of the globe. I will note a few of the ones that really stood out.
First off there was the apple wines from Northern Spain in the Asturias Principality and promoted by the IDEPA which is the economic development agency of the area. A nice range of apple wines and ciders that was extremely pleasant and well received.
From Canada, there were the fruit wines of Field Stone Fruit Wines located in the province of Alberta. A wonderful range of berry wines including Raspberry fortified wines, Strawberry and Saskatoon berry fortified wines. There were literally line-ups for a chance to taste these great wines. Also from Canada was the Organic Apple Mistel from Qanuk Estates. It was truly a rich and wonderfully aromatic Mistel worthy of great pride by the young winemaker promoting his wine.
From Thailand were the absolutely wonderful tropical fruit wines from Mythical Garden. Hugely aromatic wines made from Passion Fruit, Pineapple and Mangosteen. There wines were a hit at the show and the winery has done a great job with their packaging, which was truly world class.
Another interesting event was the Korean Fruit wine tasting which occurred at the show. It was a large showcase of most Korean fruit wines. The event drew a large crowd, as people were eager to discover and savour unique wines. The wines tasting were the wild Raspberry, Blackberry and Currant wines grown and fermented naturally on the Korean Peninsula. This was a wonderful find for every one lucky enough to taste them.
Part of the success of fruit wines at the show is the general openness of Asian people when it comes to wines made from fruit. Most regard berries of tree fruits as an equal counterpart to grapes when it comes to winemaking. This opens up a lots of market opportunities and gives consumers a greater choice of wine ranges.
Fruit wines of course lends itself very well to the rich and varied cuisine found in this diverse land and the Asian pallet has an affinity to sweeter, aromatic wines that fruit wines certainly expresses well.
Asia is a very competitive market when it comes to wine as the whole world is trying to get a market share but I must say that fruit wines do stand out well in this adaptable and open market, full of opportunities.
I raise a glass to the success of Vinexpo 2008 (that’s a glass of fruit wine by the way)!