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California Vintage to Open Outlets in Asia

13 - dec - 10

Asians are soon going to have the taste of Californian wines in an exclusively Californian ambience without moving out of their respective cities. A chain of California-themed wine bars are scheduled to be launched across Asia with the first one opening its doors in Hong Kong in January.

 According to a report California Vintage whose backers include 22 California ‘partner’ wineries and a Hong Kong-base importer will open in the Central neighbourhood of the city.

The debutant bar will sport a range of 80 wines which will be served in glass at a price range of HK$36-$348 (£3-27).  The partner wineries will supply the wines.

"None of our wines are the usual suspects," said Susan Darwin, chief branding officer, "Most are handcrafted by very small production, boutique wineries. Even the lower-priced wines deliver a very high quality-cost ratio."

California Vintage intends to open 20 outlets across Asia in the next five years, Hong Kong, China, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan grabbing the special attention.

With $47m and $36m in sales, respectively, Hong Kong and China were California’s fourth and fifth largest export markets in 2009 – an increase of 84% and 64% respectively over 2008.

"Appreciation for California wine is seriously lagging behind its deserved status, given the quality of what is being produced in the state," said Darwin.

"We believe this is due to a lack of availability, exposure and knowledge about these wines, and our model is well-designed to address that problem," she added.

Mark Beech

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