When three wine-loving Hongkongers joined forces to turn their passion into a business, they took a pragmatic approach. Anthony Fung Kar-hey, one of the investors and managing director of the winery, says, “We looked at opportunities in Europe, such as Bordeaux, in France, and Spain. However, the vineyards that were available were either poorly run or maintained, or beyond our budget.” In the end, their work experience in the United States and knowledge of Napa Valley wines took them to California. In Pope Valley, in northern Napa county, Fung and his partners, who prefer to remain anonymous, acquired a 48-hectare property and vineyard. Made in Hong Kong wines that are making a splash The trio named their winery, which they founded in 2010, Calla Lily, to symbolise the wines’ “elegance, beauty and purity”, Fung says. “We want the Napa character to shine through but we also need to work carefully to avoid jamminess and too much alcoholic strength.” Cary Gott, with more than 40 years’ experience at Sterling Vineyards, Seagram Classics and Mumm Napa, was brought on board as chief winemaker. Fung’s long-term goal is “to build a sustainable business that can last. From an investment point of view, we need to work diligently to protect the value of the land and the brand, which we hope, in the long run, will continue to appreciate.” Calla Lily Ultimate Red, Pinot Noir 2014, Carneros, Napa Valley, HK$320 Eighty per cent of the fruit is de-stemmed and 20 per cent in whole clusters. Matured for 10 months in French barriques, of which 40 per cent are new. Ripe black cherry and meaty, savoury aromatics. Rich, full bodied with ripe tannins. On the riper and more robust spectrum of pinot noir. Drinking well now. Calla Lily Ultimate Red, Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Napa Valley, HK$550 A blend of 81.6 per cent cabernet sauvignon, 10.8 per cent merlot and 7.6 per cent cabernet franc. Aged for 22 months in French barriques, of which 43 per cent are new. Rich, spicy, meaty notes with blackcurrants and black olives. Opulent with silky, fine-grained tannins, discreet oak handling and finishing very long. Ripe, approachable and perfect for drinking. Calla Lily Audax, 2012, Napa Valley, HK$980 Fung says this top-of-the-range cabernet sauvignon has “greater depth but will need significantly longer bottle-ageing”. A blend of 89.3 per cent cabernet sauvignon, 6.5 per cent petit verdot, 4.1 per cent merlot and 0.1 per cent malbec. Matured in barriques, of which 55 per cent are new. Velvety black fruit. Powerful and rich with soft ripe tannins, fairly soft acidity and a seamless finish. Available from Wine Palace, 438 Des Voeux Road West, Shek Tong Tsui, tel: 2628 0688.