Talking about the Chinese market and what it means to wineries is very important. This is the reason why I interviewed Mr. Henry Ho, one of the most important people in the world of wine in Hong Kong. I could write a lot of about the history of wine in China, but I would prefer that a great poet talks about wine: Li Bai or Li Po. He is known as the immortal poet. He was born in 701 and died in 762, during Tang dynasty. His poem is called “Drinking alone by moonlight”
A cup of wine, under the flowering trees;
I drink alone, for no friend is near.
Raising my cup I beckon the bright moon,
For he, with my shadow, will make three men.
The moon, alas, is no drinker of wine;
Listless, my shadow creeps about at my side.
Yet with the moon as friend and the shadow as slave
I must make merry before the Spring is spent.
To the songs I sing the moon flickers her beams;
In the dance I weave my shadow tangles and breaks.
While we were sober, three shared the fun;
Now we are drunk, each goes his way.
May we long share our odd, inanimate feast,
And meet at last on the Cloudy River of the sky!
Li Po was famous for his drinking, but he was no simple-minded drunk. Here “drinking” is linked to longing for absent friends.
|Mr. Henry Ho|
First of all, thank you very much for the interview
The pleasure’s all mine.
What did it lead you to the wine world?
Since the abolishment of the Wine tax in 2008 it opened up a lot of opportunities for individuals to enter the wine industry, and I was one of them. At that time I could see a bright future for the wine industry not only locally but also the China and neighboring Asian markets.
How does your love for wine start?
Well I show passion to a lot of things in life, such as sports, culinary arts, and wine.
You are the founder, how and why was this idea born?
The HKWMCC was established in 2010 by a few individuals in the wine industry who decided that the wine industry needed a coherent voice, to work together and also a platform to share information among other members in the industry. We are a fully independent party.
Which is your function in
I am the founding President of the HKWMCC and I still am. I have been working in the wine industry for several years and also been involved in several wine companies here in Hong Kong and China. I plan to re-organize the Chamber’s structure and hopefully an election for a new president will take place next year.
And which is the aim of the
The HKWMCC aims to unify all sectors of the wine industry in Hong Kong. We seek to provide communication channels between our wine industry and the government. The HKWMCC has a major influence in the China Wine Market, representing Hong Kong in many occasions.
Are you also a consultant?
Yes indeed I am, but not on wine but rather on wine business and other academic fields.
What is the task you develop?
As mentioned, I am a consultant in the academic field. I have been guest speaker at the the University of Hong Kong SPACE Wine MBA Program. And now, I am the guest lecturer of the College of Wine Business at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
You have been jury in international wine exhibitions, did you enjoy the experience? Do you think it could be improved?
Yes it was definitely a wonderful experience for me.
You are certified by the Bordeaux Wine School, what is it about?
I’ve actually acquired a certificate from course hosted by the Bordeaux Wine School. Bordeaux Wine School Certificate Program is two days lesson providing knowledge of wine, region and something more about tasting. That program I was taught by Peter Kwong who is the famous sommelier in Hong Kong.
Which is your opinion about Spanish wines?
I remember one from Mallorca which was much impressive to me. There is quite a lot value for money Spanish wine. It is not difficult to look for.
And about South American ones?Do you mean Argentina? Yes, I do like Argentina Malbec.
Which country has more influence today in the wine market?
Definitely the China market, with it’s volume and potential.
And in the near future?
I would say China still for the next 10 years or more.
Which is your opinion about the wine market in China?
There is still a lot to explore in the China wine market, as there are second and third tier cities that are still underdeveloped in terms of wine. What I can say is that the major top tier cities are getting closer together to Hong Kong that we can see.
What do you think about the forgeries of wines and which measures must be taken to avoid it?
Producing and selling fake wines is a lucrative business, and it has always been difficult to control as we have faced difficulty in the prosecution process when the owner of the property rights are reluctant to step up confirm these cases.
Thank you very much, Mr. Ho. In vino veritas, longae vitae!))
Henri Ho in few lines:
· Founder of Hong Kong Wine Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce
· Member of the Customs-Wine Industry Alliance
· President of EyeOrange Interactive
· Vineyards, Wineries, Castles property consultant from Franceelite Investment Limited
· Member of Vacational Training Council Working Committee of Manpower Survey of the Wine Industry in Hong Kong
· Vice-chairman of the Canton-Hong Kong-Macau-Taiwan Wine Industry Alliance, China National Association for Liquor and Spirits Circulation
· Director of Tsantali (Asia) Limited
· Guest lecturer at the University of Hong Kong SPACE Wine MBA Program
· Guest lecturer of College of Wine Business at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
· Advisor of Central Policy Unit, The Hong Kong Government