2010 WINE TRIPS: CHINA - JAPAN - THAILAND
One of the more amusing and stimulating aspects of being in this crowded wine industry is playing the export game. Over the years Munari Wines has exported to the U.S, France, Taiwan, Denmark and more recently China. In order to facilitate sales of course we have to visit, in 2009 and 2010 we went to China. As well as meeting many officials, one of the highlights of the trip was being allocated young female students to act as our translators. All of them were incredibly charming helpful and interesting to talk to. They loved choosing English names for themselves so now we have some more Chinese fans by the name of Jessica, Emma, Sophie, Joy and June!
Another interesting moment was when a young woman impressed some of the Chinese wine buyers with the way she conducted business. They then secured her a future position in their company. Everyone was thrilled!
While only a small proportion of the Chinese people regularly drink wine all were very curious and enthusiastic. In China for trade fairs there are also lots of ribbon cutting and many photo sessions. We found it helpful to compare wine with tea drinking. Immediately the tasters understood that there were different flavour profiles and subtle differences to note. (Tea in China is very very good and there are many different types to suit different times of the day and to suit the occasion.)
Of course the food was always interesting from particularly different looking fish and shellfish to Adrian eating his first "Bardi-grub." (formerly known as bait)
After China we took a side trip to Japan (we were nearly there anyway) We only went to a few cities but all were really interesting. Japan seems to be so well organized, I kept on thinking I must tell Melbourne's Lord Mayor about the fantastic food halls attached to the railway stations, how clean everything is, and that even people in less prestigious occupations took pride in doing a job with grace.
In late 2010 Adrian went with Richard Sheedy (co winemaker for our "Black Lady" Heathcote /Barossa Shiraz fruit) of "Glen Eldon Winery" to Bangkok. They headed to the far north of Thailand where they conducted tastings and met with a number of Thai business operators.
So now we are in 2011 we must venture on to new countries (so we have an excuse to go there). Any ideas…