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WSTA flies the flag in Hong Kong


It was not just Dr Liam Fox who was in Hong Kong this week, the WSTA was there too. In the same week that the Secretary of State signed a joint statement on trade collaboration, some of the WSTA team was leading a group of English wine and British gin producers on a trade mission, which - for the first time - was jointly funded by the UK government. 


The aim of the WSTA’s British drinks delegation was to increase awareness of English wine and British gin, help boost exports from those producers already in market and to help those producers keen to export to Hong Kong for the first time. 

The programme included briefing from UK Consulate staff on commercial operations in Hong Kong, Macau and Guangzhou; and hear from commercial organisations sharing first hand experience of trading in wine and spirits in the region. 

Thursday saw participating brands showcasing their products in a ‘Meet the Buyer’ event to a wide range of importers, distributors, retailers and opinion formers. The event, which lasted four hours, also included a briefing and demonstration of his award winning gin-based cocktail by Maxim Schulte, Bar Manager, Ritz Carlton Macau. 

The trade mission rounded off with a series of tutored tastings of each WSTA participant’s brands led by MW and Hong Kong based wine journalist, Sarah Heller. 

WSTA Chief Executive Miles Beale said:

“Hong Kong is one of the top target markets identified by WSTA members - both for British gin and English wine exports. I am delighted that we have been able to work so closely with the British Consulate here in Hong Kong to produce this week’s bespoke programme of events. 

“Following this visit we are even more convinced that Hong Kong holds significant potential for British gin and English wine. Moreover we learned about future opportunities in mainland China, for which exporters need to start planning well in advance.” 

Tamara Roberts, Chief Executive of Ridgeview and WSTA Board member commented: “This is the first WSTA led mission that Ridgeview has joined. It has delivered exactly what I wanted and I have been extremely impressed by the effort put into the programme by both the WSTA and the British Consulate. I have learned about doing business in this market and have been able both to introduce Ridgeview’s wine and to promote English sparkling wine as a category here in Hong Kong.”

Maxim Schulte, Beefeater MIXLDN Global Winner 2017 and Bar Manager, Ritz-Carlton Macau added “The gin scene in Hong Kong and Macau is growing rapidly. When I joined our bar at the Ritz Carlton, we were ‘gin centric’ with 25 gins on our shelves. We now stock 150 from around the globe, making us world leaders on the cocktail scene and British gins such as Beefeater 24 are amongst my favourite to work with.”. 

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