Story & photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling GourmetTM
MAYBE the most intelligent initiative to capture the wine market in the People’s Republic of China. PROWEIN is going to CHINA! According to CIA, the population of 1,349,585,838 (July 2013 estimated) and GDP (purchasing power parity) of $12.38 trillion (2012 estimated) makes China a very BIG market. German wines and wineries are very keen to make inroads into this potentially huge market and perhaps from there to South East Asia. Trade visitors, wine experts, sommeliers, buyers, importers, exporters, negociants and more were all ears when the official announcement was made…
The first ProWine China will take place from 13 to 15 November 2013 at Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC), in parallel to China’s leading trade fair for imported foods, FHC China 2013. Just over a half-year before the start of the trade fair, the organisers are seeing immense interest from producers from around the world.
Majority of available space has already been booked. Based on current information, ProWine China in Shanghai in November 2013 will feature exhibitors from Argentina, Chile, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, Austria and other countries. Producers from China, Switzerland and Turkey are also showing great interest. The largest contingent so far comes from France. The US regions Washington and California have chosen ProWine China to present their wines. ProWine China 2013 clearly offers traders and retailers from China and the chance to negotiate face to face with exhibitors from top wineries from all over the world. The event is also expected to draw visitors from all the Asian countries.
BRITAIN’S oldest wine merchant, renowned Berry Brothers & Rudd is stocking four wines produced in China from European grapes. Will this help Chinese wines penetrate the European wine market? The four wines on offer are from China’s oldest winery. Chateau Changyu is also China’s largets winery in the eastern Shandong province. Retailing from USD28 to USD98, the wines include a “Bordeaux” blend of Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot and three Ice wines.
China is the world’s eighth largest wine producer in the world at present. It is forecast by experts to be the sixth largest by 2016! China’s wealthy have been buying up choice vineyards and wineries in France. According to highly relaible sources this may lead to more counterfeit of fake “Chateau” wines as the Chinese owners will have full access to all the bottles, labels, corks, etc.
vehicle to promote wines…
The Singapore Connection…
Story & photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet from very reliable secret sources…
Robert Parker Singapore investor ‘named’ as Soo Hoo Khoon Peng
A relaible secret source close to the deal that Robert Parker has struck with a group of Singapore businessmen to sell The Wine Advocate have confirmed the main shareholder is Soo Hoo Khoon Peng, formerly of wine importers Hermitage… His wife is still a diretor of Hermitage Fine Wines and he and his wife own over 70% of the company…
In an email seen by Decanter.com, the source says the two other shareholders in the deal are connected with Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs.
The email was sent to blogger Vincent Pousson, who confirmed in conversations with the reliable source that the main shareholder is Soo Hoo, a former director of Singapore wine company Hermitage.
He left Hermitage with little notice in November 2012, and on 5 December, 2012, according to his facebook page, since removed, he was in Baltimore. Baltimore is close to Monkton, the home of Parker and the headquarters of the Wine Advocate. Coincidence or ???
The source also confirms the US$15m price on the deal, and that Soo Hoo will ‘command and control’ the Wine Advocate.
In the email it is made clear the group’s interest is in the commercial possibilities of the Wine Advocate.
>>> ‘The deal was brokered by two people who have absolutely no interest in wine and only commercial interest in mind,’ the email says.<<<
‘One [is] working for Deutsche Bank and another working for Goldman Sachs. They gathered a group of investors to buy into TWA. Sell price around US$15m. RP probably pocketed US$10m and the other US$5m pocketed by the two who brokered the deal.’
The two investors are keeping their identities secret. Why? If their intentions are stirctly honourable, why all this CIA-style secrecy?
The most SIGNIFICANT point is the future direction of the Wine Advocate, which under Robert Parker was supposed to be an independent, impartial, unbiased and objective review of wines. Obviously, this will no longer be the case in the opinion of many top wine experts…
>>>>>The highly reliable source then says the primary interest of the group is to ‘Allow advertising, allow independent reviewers to conduct public speaking events, presentations and seminars all for a fee, [and] spin off a Chinese edition of TWA’.<<<<
Robert Parker’s publicist was not available for comment at the time of going to press.
See this link to learn that Robert Parker’s favourite drink was…wait for it…Coca Cola!
ProWine China provides a marvellous platform for domestic and overseas high-quality wine and spirits producers and is therefore expected to be an important milestone to develop the Chinese wine market. Exhibitors may choose from four different stand packages for their trade fair appearance, from pure stand space rentals to turnkey offers including furnishings, lighting and storage space. Depending on the package, the price per square meter is between $410 and $530. All registration forms and contact information can also be accessed at www.prowinechina.com.