Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Day 1 Quite an experience and very successful. Hangzhou is on the south east coast of China at the southern end of the Yangtze River Delta so there are lots of lakes around the city. A very pretty place with lots of trees and flowers and a population of about 7 million.
Our first seminar got underway slowly – no one gets here on time – but eventually we had 30+ attendees, which was as expected. Our two events in the evening were extraordinary - eight vintners went to pour at Ruby Red, a high end retailer in the city. The 80 guests were all under age 35. Another ten of us went to the Blossom Water Museum Hotel for the Charity Dinner & Auction where another 80 wine-loving consumers joined us, plus Tim Hanni, MW (from Napa) who is employed by the Blossom Group to train them about wine and just happened to be there this weekend. This event was a true Chinese banquet experience – the entire dinner was served on massive lazy Susans in the middle of each large table. After a presentation about the Blossom Company, the charity and more, we ate dinner and then the auction began. Oh boy! I can’t begin to describe it! Wine auctions are not yet commonplace in China, so this was a different experience than a charity auction in the US. But, the charity helps really, really poor children in rural areas and we raised about $3,000 from our 8 or so wine lots. This could build a whole house in this part of the world! It was a very humbling experience.
On Monday, we hosted events in Shanghai. We kicked off the day with a workshop for the travelling vintners to help them better understand the China wine market. Mid-day, three of our vintner leaders were interviewed by several Chinese media, including TV. This was followed immediately by the trade and media seminar, which was fabulous with some 50+ attendees – an absolutely full house with a few people standing in the back. Then we had the trade tasting with a full house of 200+ quality trade and media. The day concluded with a consumer tasting with Napa Reserve at the House of Roosevelt, overlooking the Bund. Tomorrow we are hosting an educational seminar for university students during the day and more consumer events in the evening in Shanghai, then it’s off to Beijing and Xi’an by the weekend.
International Marketing Manager
Napa Valley Vintners