"Made in Hong Kong" wine hopes to please Asian palates

Tue Jun 9, 2009 4:37pm EDT
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By Gary Ling

HONG KONG (Reuters Life!) - It's got no vineyards of its own, but a new winery hopes its "Made In Hong Kong" label will make a mark on the growing Asian wine market.

The 8th Estate Winery has produced Hong Kong's first wine, using grapes that are shipped frozen from other countries.

The thawing, fermentation, aging and blending of the grapes takes place at the winery housed in a high-rise warehouse, which has just released its first batch of reds, whites and ice wines.

"There is an initial novelty value, a little bit of a shock seeing a bottle which says 'Product of Hong Kong' because there has never been a wine bottle that has said that before," winery director Lysanne Tusar told Reuters.

"We always label where our grapes came from and we are quite proud to say where the varieties are sourced," she added.

The winery's whites range from Sauvignon Blancs to Chardonnays. The reds include Merlots and Cabernet Sauvignons.

Tusar said all their grapes for 2007 came from Washington state in the United States. For 2008, the grapes were from Italy.

The 8th Estate has so far produced 100,000 bottles, of which 60,000 have been sold. The rest are being aged.   Continued...

<p>A journalist tastes wine at the Eighth Estate Winery in Hong Kong May 22, 2009. REUTERS/Aaron Tam</p>