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Hong Kong Wine & Spirits Fair Opens as Asia’s Largest
Partner Country Italy Featuring More than 200 Exhibitors

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  The fourth Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair opened today and continues through 5 November at the HKCEC. Officiating at the fair’s opening ceremony this morning are (left to right): Paola Guida, Italian Trade Commissioner, Italian Trade Commission – Hong Kong Office; Fred Lam, Executive Director, HKTDC; Professor KC Chan, Secretary for Financial Services & the Treasury, the Hong Kong SAR Government; Alessandra Schiavo, Consul General of Italy in Hong Kong; and Giovanni Mantovani, CEO, Veronafiere
   
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  Italy, this year’s wine fair Partner Country, features the largest group pavilion, with more than 200 exhibitors. Veronafiere, the pavilion organiser, has arranged a number of wine-pairing cooking demonstrations by Michelin-starred chefs
   
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  Secretary for Financial Services & the Treasury KC Chan (left) and HKTDC Executive Director Fred Lam (right) tour the fair following today’s opening ceremony
   
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  The fair’s new Wine Investment zone has attracted such industry leaders as Liv-Ex, the world’s only online wine-trading business
3 November 2011 – A record 934 exhibitors from some 37 countries and regions are taking part in the fourth HKTDC Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair, which opened today and continues through 5 November at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). The fair is now Asia’s biggest wine show in exhibitor numbers.

Georgia, Israel, Latvia, Malta, the Slovak Republic and Sweden are participating for the first time, helping boost exhibitor numbers by 37 per cent over last year’s event. Among the fair’s buyers are 73 buying missions from 28 countries and regions. They represent 2,750 buyers and 1,774 companies.

Saluting Italy
Italy, this year’s wine fair Partner Country, features the largest group pavilion, with more than 200 exhibitors, up 80 per cent over last year. The Vino Sangiovese Forum is one of many Italian spotlights at the fair, and there is a special tasting area at the Vinitaly Pavilion dedicated to Italian wine education. The organiser, Veronafiere, is also offering a forum on Italian wine, seminars, sommelier-led tastings and wine-pairing cooking demonstrations. As well, this evening’s Gala Wine Dinner features an Italian theme. The Public Forum – Appreciation of Italian Wines will also take place on Saturday (5 November), with Italian wine specialists sharing their expertise.

Wine Investment
Major exhibit categories this year are: Liquor & Beverage Products; Wine Services (storage, education and packaging); Wine Accessories & Equipment; and Friends of Wine (bakery products, confectionery, seafood, pasta). In addition, a Wine Investment Zone debuts at the fair. The zone has attracted such industry leaders as Acker Merrall & Condit, the biggest auction house in the United States; wine agent Berry Bros and Rudd, a royal wine supplier since 1903; Liv-Ex, the world’s only online wine-trading business; Octavian, the world’s largest wine cellar; and Wing Lung Bank, the first Hong Kong bank to provide wine loans. On Saturday (5 November), a Wine Auction and Investment Forum is also taking place.

Special Events
The fair presents close to 60 special events, including today’s Wine Industry Conference, tomorrow’s Asia Top Sommelier Summit, featuring sommeliers from some 10 countries and regions, and the third Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition. Open to spirits for the first time, the competition received over 1,700 applications, up 32 per cent over 2010. Guest judge Alberto Antonini is an Italian oenologist and wine consultant.

Grand Tastings
The fair’s final day, 5 November, is open to the public. It includes a variety of seminars, a “World of Spirits” Master Class, and two “Grand Tasting of Finest Wine” sessions organised by Bordeaux Index (Hong Kong), Wines from Spain and the Spanish Trade Commission

(Hong Kong), one on Spain, the other on Italy, with each wine rated 90+ by noted critic Robert Parker and wine magazine Wine Spectator. Online pre-registration is HK$500, including fair admission.

“The Most Beloved Wine” voting game award presentation also takes place on the fair’s final day. Public visitors receive a free Lucaris crystal wine glass on a first-come, first-served basis.

In the Spirit
Corkage-free days have also been arranged. Fairgoers need only present a business card at the Visitor Promotion Counter to receive a coupon waiving the corkage charge for one bottle of wine or spirits, 3-13 November 2011, when dining at one of Hong Kong’s more than 110 participating restaurants.

Hong Kong imports of wine are up 57 per cent, year-on-year, to US$940 million, over the first nine months of 2011.

Fair Website
www.hktdc.com/hkwinefair

Media Enquiries
Please contact the HKTDC's Corporate Communication Department:

Joe Kainz
Tel: (852) 2584 4216
Email: joe.kainz@hktdc.org

About the HKTDC
A statutory body established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is the international marketing arm for Hong Kong-based traders, manufacturers and service providers. With more than 40 global offices, including 11 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China and throughout Asia. The HKTDC also organises trade fairs and business missions to connect companies with opportunities in Hong Kong and on the mainland, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and online. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com 

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