First Decanter Asia Wine Awards Running This Week In Hong Kong
Having seen the number of China-based visitors overtake both the UK and US for the first time this May, the British wine publication Decanter.com is making two strong overtures to the market this week with the launch of a new Chinese-language website and the kickoff of the first Decanter Asia Wine Awards in Hong Kong. Running at Hong Kong’s Cyberport, the wine awards bring together some of the most influential wine figures from throughout Asia, judging more than 2,000 wines. As publishing director Sarah Kemp said at the opening address earlier this week, “The Decanter Asia Wine Awards has gathered together the most influential wine professionals in Asia because this competition is not simply a replica of the Decanter World Wine Awards, but is instead an Asian competition for Asian consumers.”
According to Decanter, the week-long event is co-chaired by Jeannie Cho Lee MW and Steven Spurrier, with vice-chairs Michael Hill-Smith AM MW, Andrew Jefford, Shinya Tasaki, Gerard Basset MS MW and Poh Tiong Ch’ng each leading panels of experts from all over the Asia-Pacific region. Judging will run through September 20, with the full results of the awards set to be published on Decanter’s newly launched Chinese- and English-language DecanterChina.com website on October 24.
Following the awards ceremony, a selection of the top wines will be introduced to consumers at a limited number of venues throughout Asia as part of the Decanter Asia Winners’ Tastings program, a partnership with wine dispenser maker Enomatic.
This week’s wine awards and the launch of DecanterChina.com — a localized version of its site that features wine advice and tips for the new consumer, events listings and a glossary of wine terms — is the publication’s latest foray into China. In recent years, Decanter has focused more intently on China’s fast-growing wine market, even giving its domestically made wines a serious shot. This May, at the 2012 Decanter World Wine Awards in London, Chinese wineries received 18 accolades in total: five commendations, 10 bronze medals, two silvers and one gold, won by Chateau Reifeng-Auzias in Shandong province for its Cabernet 2010 (which also took a silver medal for its 2010 Syrah).