SUBTROPICAL HONG KONG PLANS A WATERFRONT VINEYARD FEATURING BURGUNDY VARIETIES
By Siulan Law Mathews DipWSET
The architect of Hong Kong’s zero wine tariff policy has engineered the planting of the city’s first ever vineyard at the Victoria Harbour waterfront featuring Burgundy grape varieties.
Henry Tang, Chairman of West Kowloon Cultural District Authority and former government Chief Secretary, hosted a vine planting ceremony with diplomatic signatories and visiting winery owners at the cultural district where the vineyard will be located.
“With this development, Hong Kong will have a unique vineyard set against the breathtaking backdrop of Victoria Harbour. Rows of vines with magnificent views of Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong skyline in the background will be a very good Instagram moment for visitors,” said Tang who is a connoisseur with a substantial personal wine collection.
Tang is known for the zero wine tariff policy introduced during his office as Chief Secretary, the No 2 position in the government, which helped Hong Kong rise to become Asia’s prominent wine hub.
Tang said he has personally sought advice from domaine owners in Burgundy about vine growing in Hong Kong’s subtropical climate.
The planting ceremony marked the start of a process to investigate what grape varieties will flourish in the waterfront and subtropical terroir of the cultural district.
It is understood that they will start with planting Pinot Noir in a nursery park in the cultural district. Pinot Noir is the main Burgundian black variety which is known for being a cool climate vine and is notoriously difficult to grow.
They will also test out a few other grape varieties in the nursery park, including the Burgundian white variety Chardonnay and the Bordeaux black variety Merlot.
Subject to their adaptation to the terroir, the vines will then be transferred to the permanent vineyard site on the top of a view terrace overlooking the Victoria Harbour.
(the writer can be contacted at: SLawMathews@thewinechronicle.com)
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