How port is becoming a favourite among mainland Chinese

Tradition of port at Christmas and as a Chinese new year gift boosts sales this time of year

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 11 December, 2012, 2:50pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 December, 2012, 10:23am

Sales of port wine soar in the lead-up to Christmas and Chinese new year, with companies reporting more than half of their annual sales at this time.

Winemaker Jorge Nunes is based in Hong Kong as Asia market manager for Symington Family Estates in Portugal. The brands the company owns and represents make up about 40 per cent of the premium port market in Hong Kong. Brands include Graham's, Cockburn's, Dow's and Warre's.

Nunes noted a definite boost in sales because of the tradition of port at Christmas and the potential of the wine as a new year gift.

"Port is starting to be better understood and known by Asian consumers," he said. "Pairing with Chinese food like hairy crab or roasted pork belly means ports are gaining a reputation in Hong Kong and mainland China."

Tersina Shieh runs the Vintage Port Academy in Hong. Its role is to promote the appreciation and knowledge of vintage port among wine professionals and consumers.

"The academy has been hosting annual seminars and workshops in Hong Kong for three years and we are glad to see the increasing interest in port of the younger generation of wine lovers."

Sophia Bergqvist is the owner of Quinta de la Rosa and Christian Seely is managing director and part owner of Quinta da Romaneira in Portugal, two of the country's most prestigious port producers. While in Hong Kong they spoke with reporter Stephen Quinn.