Business

Okanagan wines gain access to Hong Kong consumers

Hong Kong residents will have an opportunity to sample more B.C. wines from such wineries as Quails
Hong Kong residents will have an opportunity to sample more B.C. wines from such wineries as Quails' Gate in West Kelowna.
— image credit: Contributed

The British Columbia Wine Institute has formed a strategic partnership with Cuvées in Hong Kong that will make B.C. wines more accessible than ever to consumers in that market.

"Hong Kong is earning a reputation for its savvy, high-end wine consumers," said BCWI president Miles Prodan. "For years, international visitors have been asking where they can find our premium BC VQA wines at home and, until now, the options have been very limited.

"Cuvées stocks 23 different BC VQA wines from seven top B.C. wineries so consumers will have some choice when it comes to the wines of British Columbia, either online or on the wine list at several premiere Hong Kong restaurants."

The journey towards this partnership began in November 2012 when Prodan represented the B.C. wine industry at the Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair and, later in May, Cuvées hosted an invite-only wine paired Cantonese dinner at the Hotel ICON.

Working in conjunction with what is now British Columbia's Ministry of International Trade, this was the BCWI's first venture into this market. At the intimate Hotel ICON dinner, dozens of invited buyers, sommeliers and consumers discovered 16 featured wines from five of B.C.'s best wineries.

In January 2013, the BCWI worked with the Canadian Vintners Association as well as Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada to host Cuvées managing director Joseph Luk and wine journalist Rebecca Leung on a four-day tour of the Okanagan, which resulted in two additional wineries joining the project and several new product listings for the site launch this fall.

"We have added a Hong Kong office to British Columbia's international trade and investment network, and our work with the British Columbia Wine Institute allows us to promote our wines and our wineries in this priority market," said Teresa Wat, Minister of International Trade and Minister Responsible for the Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism.

"Hong Kong is a gateway to Asia's wine markets, especially China's, and we look forward to seeing more wine exports across the Pacific as a result of this new partnership."

"With an estimated 300,000 Canadian passport holders, Hong Kong has one of the largest Canadian communities outside of Canada. This makes Hong Kong a great market for B.C. wine products," explained Brian Brown, British Columbia's Trade and Investment Representative in Hong Kong.

"This new partnership with Cuvées in Hong Kong will improve local awareness and understanding of BC wines and wine-growing regions such as the Okanagan, and it will help gain exposure in the broader Asia Pacific region."

The wineries currently listed on Cuvées are Laughing Stock Vineyards, Nk'Mip Cellars, Poplar Grove Winery, Quails' Gate Winery, Sandhill, Stoneboat Vineyards and Therapy Vineyards.

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