Following record U.S. wine exports in 2011 and Asia’s booming wine markets, the largest-ever California winery delegations are participating in the Vinexpo Asia Pacific trade show in Hong Kong May 29-31 and Wine Institute’s California Wine Export Program China Tour June 4-8.  More than 120 winery principals with 250 wine brands will be represented in the California Wines Pavilion organized by Wine Institute at Vinexpo Asia Pacific, which attracts more than 15,000 key trade visitors in Asia.  Additionally, Wine Institute’s “Discover California Wines” China tour with 25-plus delegates representing more than 100 brands will visit Shanghai, Wuhan and Beijing and participate in seven consumer, trade and media activities.
“Hong Kong, as Asia’s regional wine hub, and China, with its significant market size and growth potential, continue to draw high interest from California wineries across the state,” says Linsey Gallagher, Wine Institute’s International Marketing Director.  “The largest-ever delegation with participation from the Napa Valley Vintners, Sonoma County Vintners and Zinfandel Advocates and Producers is a clear indication of the California wine industry’s interest in the growing Asian wine markets.”

Total U.S. wine exports, 90% from California, hit a record $1.39 billion in 2011, up 22% compared to the previous year.  Hong Kong remained California’s third largest export market by value after the European Union and Canada, and revenues reached $163 million, up 39%.  Exports to Japan were up 39% to $105 million; China had 42% growth with $62 million; Vietnam was up 266% to $21 million and South Korea was up 13% to $13 million.  See:

This year’s “Discover California Wines” China tour is the 12th wine trade mission to that country organized by Wine Institute’s California Wine Export Program.  The program has coordinated an annual trade mission to China since 2000 with the state’s vintners.   Both the China tour and Vinexpo Asia Pacific trade show will feature a global branding campaign to help boost exports by telling the story of California wines through the stunning images of the state’s landmarks, vistas, cuisine and sustainable lifestyle.

“We are pleased with the very strong participation in this year’s China Tour and the strong interest in China’s wine market.  Our tour events will afford participating wineries great exposure in China’s leading markets, Shanghai and Beijing, and support their market access efforts in a growing second-tier market, Wuhan,” says Eric Pope, Wine Institute’s Regional Director Emerging Markets.

Wine Institute headquarters are in San Francisco with trade offices in 15 countries.  About 150 California wineries participate in Wine Institute’s International program.