The annual Italian Wine Celebration which is normally scheduled for November in Hong Kong has been postponed to next year, the organizer has announced.
The decision was made after the organizer J.C. Viens received feedbacks from several wine importers given the current social distancing rules and the challenges ahead amid Hong Kong’s economic downturn.
“As I have always considered it a matter of duty to put the industry’s needs in front of my own, considering the current economic context in Hong Kong and, in the spirit of what the IWC is all about, it is clearly sensible to respect anxieties of the industry and put the event on hold,” say Viens, an experienced Italian wine educator, judge and communicator who launched the event three years ago.
The event which is considered a flagship trade event for Italian wines. Last year’s edition gathered over 250 top sommeliers and importers in Hong Kong and Macau to celebrate the excellence of Italian wines with the support of Vinitaly and Consulate General of Italy in Hong Kong.
“I believe that the formula painstakingly built over the last 3 years is a winning one. I believe that the close and respectful relationships that we have developed together in the same period and, the utmost integrity I have devoted to it, are critical to the success of this most complex event,” Viens added.
The event will return in 2021 with exact date to be announced later.
The organiser Viens will also be relocated to Italy after spending over two decades in China.
“I will relocate to Italy later this year and this will enable me to reinforce critical partnerships with stakeholders of the Italian wine industry which will enable the event to become better, stronger, and even more relevant to the needs of the industry in the region,” he explained.
Hong Kong is considered Asia’s wine capital with zero tax on imported wines. Italy currently ranks as Hong Kong’s sixth biggest wine importer, accounting for less than 3% of the market, according to 2019’s wine imports data released by Hong Kong government.