Wine Destination: Hong Kong
June 14, 2009 by Doug Haugen
Yesterday, the Wenatchee World posted an article about how good the wine industry is for the Washington economy, and how it’s been growing at a breakneck pace. Among a bunch of other stats, they report:
The number of Washington wineries has increased 30 times in the past 30 years. The number has doubled — from 300 to more than 600 — in the past five years. Wine production has increased from 2 million gallons in 1981 to more than 20 million gallons last year. Wine grape acreage has grown from 11,000 acres in 1993 to 33,000 acres in 2008.
One of the great things about winos is that they typically spend 2.5 times more than the average tourist when they’re traveling around.
But, now we have more to thank than our tipsy travelers for the booming wine economy. (Don’t you just love to hear “booming” and “economy” in the same sentence?) Send a card to Hong Kong.
According to an article on the “China Wines Information Website,” their removal of their wine tariffs has resulted in huge increases in Hong Kong’s wine imports.
In 2007, China reduced duties on wine imports into Hong Kong by 40%, and then lifted them completely in 2008. Since then, Hong Kong’s imports have grown by 80%, and the price of wine has decreased by 7%, resulting in a a 37% increase in wine sales among Hong Kong’s residents.
Hong Kong is also becoming a destination for international wine travelers, so wineries like Chateau Ste. Michelle are scrambling to create a presence there, just for the mere exposure. And, what’s the Washington Wine Commission doing? According to the article:
Lily Huynh, export manager with the Washington Wine Commission, said that Hong Kong isn’t currently one of the key regions the commission is focusing on with its marketing efforts, but the question may be discussed at a June 11 retreat that will look at export priorities for the coming fiscal year, which starts July 1.
Whatever the case, these are exciting times for wine in Hong Kong.