California wine on track for extraordinary 2018 vintage following picture perfect weather patterns and harvest timing
Nov 08, 2018

China trade dispute fails to dent confidence among U.S. participants at Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair
due to booming home demand and robust exports elsewhere in Asia

Hong Kong --( ASIA TODAY )-- Wine makers in California’s Napa Valley are witnessing an almost picture-perfect growing season in 2018, with mild spring weather conditions delivering an extended bloom, grapes ripening steadily in the summer months and a long steady harvest continuing well into October. The net result is that the 2018 vintage is on track to be one of the best ever. Napa Valley accounts for a quarter of America’s wine produce and recorded US$119 million exports to Hong Kong and China last year.

With abundant supply, wineries from California participating at this year’s Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair, are confident on stronger sales to the city and Southeast Asia, despite the ongoing trade tensions with China. California wine exports to China were up 14 percent, for the first 6 months of 2018, compared to the same time last year.

In fact, the ongoing trade dispute with China is proving highly beneficial to Hong Kong as supplies are routed elsewhere in Asia via the duty-free wine trading hub.

“We are expecting a bumper harvest from North America’s premier wine growing region, with perfect weather patterns characterized by warm, dry days and cool evenings,” said Jeffrey Williamson, Director, California State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) who is leading the Wines of California Pavilion.

“Demand for top rated wines is also expected to remain strong on the back of a booming U.S. economy and robust exports overseas. Asia remains a promising market as the increasingly affluent urban middle class seek out new high-end products to try,” he said.

According to the Wine Institute, an advocacy group based in San Francisco, US wine exports reached US$1.5 billion in winery revenues in 2017 – 90 percent came from California. Exports to Hong Kong were up by 15 percent at US$119 million while China rose by 6 percent to US$77 million, compared with 2016.

Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Rose and Zinfandel have always proven popular with Californian wine connoisseurs in Hong Kong. This year, 11 leading producers and distributors from well-known growing regions will be attending the Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair at booth 3C-C14, Wines of California Pavilion this week.

These producers include Grand Napa Vineyards, Silvia Cellars, Guglielmo Winery, Hestan Vineyards, New World Wine Club, and California Wines for You. California is also introducing Gracias Madre, a pure Puerto Rican rum bottled in California, and MDT Services, a distributor of Southern California craft beer.

“The Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair will see California exporters showcasing quality-assured wine and spirits products with tasting sessions throughout the show,” added Williamson.

About California STEP

The California State Trade Expansion Program (California STEP) project leverages a statewide network of state, federal, private and non-profit trade promotion organizations to facilitate export promotion, activities, serving targeted industries, to drive exports for small businesses.

Managed by the California Department of Food and Agriculture in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GOBIz) the network of STEP Partners implement a range of export promotion programs serving multiple sectors, including Information & Telecommunications Technologies, Green Technologies, Food and Agricultural Products, California Lifestyle Products, Aerospace, Medical and Scientific Instrumentation, Transportation Equipment and Industrial Machinery.

Issued on behalf of California State Trade Expansion Program by Newell Public Relations.

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