We left Tuesday evening from Bordeaux with Air France to Paris, then Hong Kong in Business class : Quality service, nice wine list (Côte du Rhône from Perrin, delicious). Unfortunately, the food was terrible!
2 to 3 meetings a day were setup for us in Hong Kong, with a few serious importers. We’ll see if orders will be confirmed by the end of the year. In any case, considering the number of importers which opened since the elimination of taxes, Hong Kong is not the sort of place to setup shop if you worry about competition! Lets not forget that Bordeaux is still the reference: just check out the Lafite Rothschild and Petrus available!
We watched a beautiful firework which lasted 20 minutes over the Hong Kong bay to celebrate the Chinese national holiday. Again the Chinese invented fireworks! If time permits, do as I did, have your hair cut: hair salons offer a level of luxurious care which I haven’t found in France. True, I usually go to the hairdressers in the Carrefour shopping mall!
Our customers in Hong Kong are worried: the stock market, custom regulations and control from China, Macao and all the British settling… in addition to the Japanese and even groups of Chinese!
In any case, stores were full of shoppers.
We had a very good meal at the Victoria, with our Franco Chinese partner F.T.I., who is doing a good job. We will certainly see returns soon.
We met with importers where FTI works as an agent, with journalists where FTI works as a PR, press and meetings with French expats who play a role promoting wine, and they are plenty!
FTI looks for customers who need their experience and structure: stores, offices and function room – show room. This is interesting for people who want to promote their product like my company, a Cognac, a wine region…
Why doesn’t France have an efficient structure providing financial and contractual help with export for companies who have the courage to setup such structures in China? This would prevent the time and energy wasted looking for partners instead of customers.
In Shanghai, everyone is working, building being constructed, plenty of energy. Recommended places: Napa, for instance, where a restaurant, a place for wine presentation are located in an old house, classy, as well as Champaign bars, restaurants everywhere, we just need to “educate” customers and professionals.
Visit in Suzhou where FTI will setup a second wine shop and a restaurant, before focusing on Beijing.
Our reds are being harvested in Saint Emilion: more than a third has been done. The nice weather is encouraging!