The success of the 2015 Great Wines of Italy Asia tour, with sellout crowds in Bangkok and Hong Kong, highlights the enthusiasm fine Italian wine is generating in the region, writes Natalie Wang
talian wines continue to grow in popularity around the world, particularly in Asia. With the fourth incarnation of the Great Wines of Italy event, a collaboration between Hong Kong Tatler and Jamessuckling.com, oenophiles were able to meet vintners and taste some of the best Italian wines on the planet.
In 2015, more than 110 of the top Italian wineries, from Italy’s northern Piedmont all the way to southern Sicily, were represented at the events in Bangkok (November 29 and 30) and Hong Kong (December 1 to 3). Nearly 1,000 trade professionals and VIP wine lovers converged to taste these premium Italian wines at the Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok, while a similarly sized crowd revelled in the Grand Tasting at the Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong.
Hong Kong is a mature market for Italian wines and this was manifested in the enthusiasm surrounding the 2015 event. Wine merchants arrived from all around the region and the event’s trade tasting session was oversubscribed; more than 400 people had to be turned away due to space limitations. “You don’t get the chance to taste these wines or meet these wine producers all at one time unless you go to Italy,” said one importer from Manila.
“Hong Kong loves great Italian wines and Great Wines of Italy has helped create that love,” James remarked to winery representatives during a private outdoor