Strong Australian wine presence at Vinexpo Asia 2024: “It feels a bit like the old days”

Riverland Wine at Vinexpo Asia 2024. Image courtesy Wine Australia

Wine Australia led the Australian contingent of 63 wineries from 31 wine regions to Hong Kong last week for Vinexpo Asia, the leading trade exhibition for wine and spirits professionals in the region.

Vinexpo Asia 2024 brought together more than 14,000 trade visitors from 60 countries, who had the opportunity to engage with exhibitors from around the world over three days.

“The numbers and the diversity of cultures and countries at Vinexpo Asia is overwhelming,” said Paul McArdle, an exhibitor representing Small Wonder from Tasmania and Wayfinder from Western Australia.

“We’ve certainly had a lot of interest out of mainland China but also out of South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Japan. It feels a bit like the old days where there is very good representation and a strong presence of Australian wine and a strong interest in Australian wine. So that all goes well for our export markets. Fingers crossed. We await the orders.”

The Australian Wine Pavilion is a fixture at the event and offers an opportunity for wine producers to showcase their brands to buyers, importers, distributors, producers, sommeliers, and merchants from around the world.

Wine Australia general manager, marketing, Paul Turale said the activities around the pavilion supported Australian wineries to build connections to help unlock the growing opportunities across markets in Asia.

“There is a real sense of optimism about the opportunities for Australian wine in Asia – it’s a hopeful and exciting time for Australian wine producers,” he said.

“In-person connections are so important for our sector and it’s been heartening to see such a strong interest from the trade in the diversity and quality of Australian wine over the three days.”

Turale said that there was also a preview of the new Australian Wine national branding at Vinexpo.

“The national brand encapsulates the adventure and diversity of Australian winemaking and it was great to see this applied across the pavilion and in supporting regional and wine brand assets at Vinexpo,” he said.

Kim Chalmers from Chalmers Wines in Victoria was an exhibitor at Vinexpo Asia for the first time this year.

“It’s been a really great experience to try and understand the big complex market that is Asia,” said Chalmers. “We’ve been impressed with our visitors from mainland China who are so excited to have new, different Australian wines back and we’ve also been excited to learn that there is a thirst for understanding the diversity of Australian wine.”

Bruce Tyrrell of Tyrrell’s Wines in New South Wales said that the 2024 edition of Vinexpo Asia had exceeded his expectations.

“The one thing that has stood out during the past three days is that the locals are happy to see us back. We’ve drawn the crowds of people who have attended and want to put us back into the marketplace. I think this will be a great boon for the whole of the Australian wine industry. In terms of being here on the Australian Wine Pavilion, I think is very important that we are all together.”

Lyndall Rowe, the CEO of Riverland Wine in South Australia was equally enthusiastic about the interest in Australian wines.

“We’ve had a really busy time on the pavilion and there is an amazing sense of excitement about being here from our producers who have attended but also from the people visiting,” she said.

“Deals have been done. There’s a lot of interest in our wine. For Riverland Wine to be part of the Australian Wine Pavilion has been a really positive experience. We have a cohort of eight producers that have come with us this time to this event. It’s most we have ever had and there’s a really positive feeling around the new branding for Wine Australia.”

Wine Australia’s masterclass schedule and full list of exhibitors is available here.

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