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THE Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center in Wan Chai, Hong Kong was buzzing for three days — from May 29 to 31 — during the VinExpo Asia Pacific. I was one of the over 17,500 visitors who sweated it out (the weather was very warm and humid in Hong Kong) to attend the 2018 edition. This year’s turnout saw a modest 2% increase from the last HK VinExpo in 2016, but the biannual exposition remains the undisputed leader of wine and spirits fairs in all of Asia. The success comes despite stiff competition from Prowein, the German based wine and spirits event organizer, which has done fairs in China and, more recently, in Singapore.
AURELIO MONTES needs no introduction. He did the unthinkable in the late 1980s and early 1990s when he catapulted a new wine label from Chile to the premium wine export scene with much success. The founder and wine maker of the world famous Vina Montes was back in Manila last Saturday, and I was very fortunate to finally get a chance to meet this iconic man. I have always considered Aurelio Montes as the Robert Mondavi of Chile for his trailblazing contribution to Chile’s wine quality image, as what the Napa maverick did for California.