With exciting perspectives for Glenelly in Asia, our winemaker, Luke O’Cuinneagain, recently spent two weeks in the region. Tasting with our key agents, meeting savvy wine lovers, cementing relationships and exploring new opportunities.
In Japan the focus was on Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto. Glenelly wines, particularly the Estate range, are doing very well, especially in Western-style restaurants which are becoming more prominent. Luke was excited to enter some venues and spot Glenelly bottles on the tables, happily sipped by delighted customers. He worked with chefs and sommeliers to experiment pairing of Glenelly wines with traditional Japanese dishes. Beside the attractive price to quality ratio, most of the comments were about the notable texture of Glenelly wines which makes successful food pairings a lot easier. One of the finest match was between the Estate Reserve Chardonnay, and raw chicken heart, liver and stomach…
In Hong Kong Luke toured for the first time with our new distribution partner: Ponti Wines. http://glenellyestate.com/find-our-wines/ Within a few weeks, their team had already managed to list Glenelly in a few top accounts and filled a busy schedule of staff training and consumer tastings. Luke was very pleased to meet savvy wine consumers who could appreciate the quality of South African wines. Most were from Hong Kong, but also from mainland China and Singapore. These were happy to access fine wines without having to pay the heavy duties of the countries of origin. Hong Kong is an exciting and market with a very established wine community that seems to really appreciate the Estate Reserve range and Lady May.
Luke’s visit to Singapore was rather brief. It was the occasion to meet our new importer, Water & Wine. http://glenellyestate.com/find-our-wines/ He also hosted two successful events for consumers and the trade. The highlight of the trip was a discussion with the F&B director of the iconic Singapore F1 Grand Prix to include Estate Reserve and Lady May in the corporate boxes and suites… a very nice reason to come back again soon. Fingers crossed!
Luke finally headed to China where he was invited to consult for the winery of our Chinese importer in Ningxia. A very important project for which the experience and knowhow of Luke will certainly contribute to the success of this venture.
Luke with our importer Yanzhi in Ningxia
Based in Beijing where he established more than 10 years ago, Max Bureau, one of May’s ten grandchild, he also supporting the fast-growing Chinese market. Max has attended several regional wine fairs and held a series of tastings and masterclasses all around the country.
Max presenting Glenelly wines in China
Looking back on the Asian trip, Luke was very impressed with the growth of the brand and pleased to see how well the Glenelly wines were received by the sales teams and both trade customers and private wine consumers.