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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