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Asian Wine and Spirits
The Silk Route – 2nd Forum and Tasting

Discover the Ningxia wine region on September 14-16, 2018

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, a showcase for the country’s still nascent wine industry, to host the 2016 Asian Wine & Spirits Silk Route Conference and Competition, the first event of its kind in the region.

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

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.

The first conference was a great success and received warm applause from the industry. Around 70 foreign guests – wine and spirits producers and exporters, journalists and specialist writers, sommeliers, 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.

In 2018, one of China’s best-known quality wine regions, Yinchuan City in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region will host the event.

The program

Dates: September 14-16, 2018

 Arrival of attendees: September 13, 2018

1. A major tasting open to all Asian wines

2. A competition focusing on Asian wines, judged by Chinese and international industry members

3. A comparative tasting of the top wines from Ningxia with the top award-winning wines from the 2018 Concours Mondial de Bruxelles (Revelations). The tasting will be curated both by Chinese and international tasters, providing a unique opportunity for each culture to gain a better understanding of what defines a quality wine (tannins, acidity, effervescence, alcohol content, characteristics considered to be unacceptable flaws…)

4. A series of conferences on various themes moderated by international and Chinese speakers

  • The perception of terroir as a creator of value – examples of new wine regions
  • The challenges of extreme wine growing – the case of Ningxia
  • Native versus international grape varieties and the positioning of Asian wines
  • Sustainability in the wine industry – a discussion on concepts and actions
  • Other themes…

5. A programme of visits to estates in the Ningxia region

Download our complete report of the Asian Wine & Spirits second edition

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A conference schedule tailored to meet everyone’s needs

40 foreign guests and a large number of Chinese guests – wine journalists and specialist writers, Masters of wine, University Professors, sommeliers, educators and representatives of wine industry organizations and of Yinchuan Estates – are invited to the 2nd AWS Silk Route Conference and Tasting, some of them will be speakers that will take place over the three-day event.
Obviously a major focus of the event will be the Chinese wine industry challenges and prospects for market development, the challenges of extreme wine growing, the native grape varieties vs international grapes, the perception of terroir, the oenotourism as a key to business success…

The event will also organize a major tasting open to all Asian wines, a competition focusing on Asian wines, judged by Chinese and international industry members, and a comparative tasting of the top wines from Ningxia with the top award-winning wines from the 2018 Concours Mondial de Bruxelles (Revelations).

And last but not least, a program of visits to estates with lunch or diner with the owners will be arranged.

A practical introduction to Asian Wines and Spirits

Another opportunity for showcasing and benchmarking is the wine tasting competition which will take place on September 15th. The competition is 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 will be awarded : Grand Prize, Gold and Silver.

A free-pour tasting throughout the event will allow guests to discover Asian wines.

A program of visits to estates with lunch or dinner with the owners and technical teams will be arranged.

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.

Visits to Estates & Events

Outstanding visits to Estates & Events 

Asian Contest

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