China’s leading wine importer ASC Fine Wines staged its first large-scale portfolio tasting of the year, infusing art, nature with wine during the 108th China Food and Drinks Fair (CFDF), the country’s largest wine and spirits fair in Chengdu, as confidence gradually returns to the wine industry, boosting market outlook.
The event titled “ASC Wine Gallery” was held on April 11 at Chengdu Red Art Museum where 21 of ASC’s exclusive brands including Grand Bateau, Louis Jadot, Champagne Barons de Rothschild, Freixenet, Robert Weil, Masi, Banfi, Robert Mondavi, Lapostolle, Cono Sur, E. Guigal, and Norton in a selection of 130 wines were presented.
In addition to the grand tasting, four masterclasses highlighting Grand Bateau, Louis Jadot, Masi and Lapostolle were conducted to a full room of wine professionals.
This year, the leading wine importer innovated with tasting formats to engage with the company’s clients, media and KOLs. Different from typical CFDF’s bazar-like tastings in almost every hotels in the city, this year’s “ASC Wine Gallery” was designed to inject artistic elements into wine tasting experience, combining visual stimulation and taste sensation to create a multi-sensory experience for the guests. The event was held in a beautiful park on the bank of Fu River, considered Chengdu’s “mother river”, where Red Art Museum is located in order to reflect the company’s commitment to sustainability and its corporate purpose of “To inspire the brilliance of life, by creating rich experiences for people, in harmony with nature.”
Speaking at the opening of the event, the company CEO Makoto Nagae noted the synergy between art and wine. “The beauty of our wine in such an aesthetic environment lies in the way that it engages all of our senses and invites us to explore its many dimensions and nuances. It is our desire to share our ideals of wine and wine business with our partners whilst they gather together in Chengdu for the CFDF,” says Nagae.
As the first major event rolled out by ASC Fine Wines this year, the event also came at a time when China’s wine trade all congregated at the CFDF, in the country’s southwestern Chengdu to gauge market sentiment and to explore business potentials following China’s re-opening.
“After three years of pandemic, it might take some time for the wine trade to regain confidence,” Nagae spoke frankly. “As a company, we want to assist and inspire our partners with our actions, and to achieve success with our like-minded partners who share our aspirations and goals.” The company’s vision is “Be a lighthouse for the wine world”.
The event is also a prelude to more creative promotions that ASC has planned this year, added Mario Aron, ASC’s COO. “For so many years, event marketing has been an effective way to promote wines and it enables our clients to experience ASC’s service and brand value in a holistic way. Although last year there were a lot of uncertainties, we still held over 200 different wine events. As pandemic comes to an end and market recovers, we will launch more creative events across the country this year. We hope these activities will help our customers,” he says.
Going forward, the company says it remains strongly confident in the Chinese market and has always been despite all the challenges. During 2020-2022, when the wine industry was hit hard by the pandemic, the importer still held different wine events and promotions across the country and has since added over 20 exclusive wine brands.
Founded in 1996, ASC is one of China’s most experienced and professional wine companies and the country’s foremost wine importer. In 2010 it was acquired by the international drinks giant Suntory Group.