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Revolving around Asian Wine & Spirits

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The 1st Conference and Tasting

Replicating the cultural interactions promoted by the world’s historic trade routes

Asia is not only a vast region, it is also extremely diverse in terms of climate, topography, culture and customs. Over the centuries, this diversity has given rise to a multi-faceted drinks industry, accounting for a large share of global production and consumption.

Within Asia, however, awareness of this plethora of wines and spirits and the customs that accompany them has often stopped at national boundaries.Developing a platform for sharing knowledge and experience was therefore the logical next step in Asia’s rise to global prominence. Vinopres and the Beijing International Wine & Spirit Exchange joined forces with the Fangshan district to host the 2016 Asian Wine & Spirits Silk Route Conference and Competition, the first event of its kind in the region.

Its aim was not only to promote dialogue amongst members of the Asian drinks industry but also to offer insight into the region for the global wine and spirits community, and to broaden the scope of Asia to include lesser-known producer countries such as Armenia, Turkey and Georgia.

China, as the region’s major driving force currently, was the obvious choice of venue, particularly Fangshan which is viewed as a showcase for the country’s still-nascent wine industry. But the event’s ambition for the future is to turn the spotlight on other producer and consumer nations within the region, mirroring the dynamics spreading from China to the rest of Asia, just as the Silk Road promoted trade and communication between them in centuries past.

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A conference schedule tailored to meet everyone’s needs

Around 70 foreign guests – wine and spirits producers and exporters, journalists and specialist writers, sommeliers and educators and representatives of industry organisations – were invited to the AWS Silk Route Competition and Conference, some of them as speakers at the twenty four conferences that took place over three of the four-day event. No stone was left unturned with conference topics as broad-ranging as Indian whisky, Filipino gin, the modern Israeli wine industry, Koshu varietal wines from Japan, the liquor culture in South Korea, ancient winemaking traditions in Georgia and wine tourism in India and the rest of the world.

Obviously a major focus of the event was the Chinese wine and spirits industry and prospects for market development, including the need for education and to take on board local customs and traditions.

An overview of the global wine and spirits industry based on Euromonitor data followed the inauguration ceremony which was attended by around 400 guests at the purpose-built Expo Centre. The centre, located in the heart of the Fangshan district in the picturesque setting of Qinglong lake, also provided the opportunity for producer regions from around the world to showcase their products to visitors.

A practical introduction to Asian Wines and Spirits

Another opportunity for showcasing and benchmarking was the wine and spirits competition which received approximately 700 entries, some of them from the 23 Fangshan chateaux that took part in the overall event. The competition was organised by Vinopres which boasts extensive experience in this type of contest, organising, amongst others, the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles and Concours Mondial du Sauvignon. Entries were judged by an international panel of tasters including several Masters of Wine.

Three types of medals were awarded : Grand Prize, Gold and Silver.

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A free-pour tasting throughout the event allowed guests to discover around 350 Asian wines and spirits at their leisure.

In addition to visits to wineries including Densiho, Chateau Bolongbao, Chateau Niandu and Chateau Wode, guests were given a chance to familiarise themselves with baijiu at the Museum of International Brewmaster Art. The Museum, tastefully designed in a converted winery belonging to Dragon Seal, focuses on Chinese spirits and their long-standing history.

Sharon Nagel

Asian Tasting

A tasting of products classed by country and category with attendance by the producers themselves whenever possible.

Asian Conferences

Experts, including representatives of leading Asian companies, will analyse consumer trends in Asia, as well as marketing strategies and more general themes focusing on economic issues and production techniques.

Masterclasses & Events

Outstanding products will be presented by specialists, with priority status given to extremely rare wines and spirits and antique offerings. 

Asian Contest

A selection of wines and spirits will be assessed by a panel of international experts in the days leading up to the event.

Conference Partner

Euromonitor International is a global market research company providing strategic intelligence on industries, companies, economies and consumers around the world. Comprehensive international  coverage and insights across consumer goods, business-to-business  and service industries make our research an essential resource for  multinational companies and small– and medium–sized businesses.

Clients in more than 106 countries rely on Euromonitor International for actionable solutions supporting decisions on how, where and when to grow their business. Our independent view of the business environment, competitive landscape and industry growth drivers help validate strategic priorities, redirect assumptions and uncover new opportunities.

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