MAINLAND CHINA’S FIRST EVER BORDEAUX EN PRIMUER TASTING HELD IN SHANGHAI
By Siulan Law Mathews DipWSET
Credit: Siulan Law Mathews
Union of Grands Crus of Bordeaux (UGCB) held its first ever en primeur tasting event in Chinese Mainland in Shanghai for its 2019 vintage.
Held at the famous Peace Hotel in the Bund, the event has attracted some 300 Chinese importers and distributors to participate.
Chinese wine distributors had to travel to Bordeaux or Hong Kong to participate in Bordeaux en primeur tastings before.
But this year, the main event in Bordeaux was cancelled and the travel restrictions due to COVID-19 means Chinese importers cannot travel anywhere to taste Bordeaux 2019 vintage.
UGCB’s decision to take en primeur tasting to Shanghai allows them to taste Bordeaux’s new vintage while staying in China.
Benoît Guidée, Consul General of France in Shanghai, has participated the tasting event. He helped promote Bordeaux wines to Chinese consumers through video link and invited them to visit Bordeaux to discover the French wine culture.
He was optimistic about the future of Bordeaux wines in the Asian market. He said the Chinese market is huge and wine sales in Asia are booming especially in Japan and Singapore.
In the face of COVID-19 pandemic and the global travel restrictions, the UGCB has made a bold decision to take its annual en primeur tastings to important overseas markets where the infection rate is relatively lower.
Since mid June, UGCB has organised 2019 en primeur tasting events in Hong Kong, Zurich, Brussels, Paris, Tokyo, Frankfurt and Shanghai.
Ronan Laborde, president of the UGCB, said that the normal schedule was disrupted by COVID-19 this year, they decided to directly present the new wines to importers in the main markets around the world instead.
"Although the number of orders has not yet been counted, it is certain that it will exceed our predictions thanks to these events organised internationally," Laborde told Xinhua news agency.
Laborde also said that during the global lockdowns, consumers did not only consume more wines at home, some even turned upmarket thus presenting sales opportunities for the fine wines from Bordeaux.
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