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Celebrate 150 Years of Italy at Wine for Asia

Posted: Monday, 12 September 2011 15:38

Celebrate 150 Years of Italy at Wine for Asia

Sep 12 : To celebrate the 150th Anniversary of unification and creation of Italy, the 9th edition of Wine for Asia to be held on 27-28 October at Suntec, Singapore has the largest participation of several fine quality Italian wines many of which are new to the southeast market, along with several interesting events including a couple of new additions making it an interesting event for wine trade in India, the Diwali festival falling on 26th October notwithstanding.

Over 40 Italian wine companies will seduce your taste buds not only with the world-popular Sangiovese, Nebbiolo and Pinot Grigio but also take you to a journey through relatively unknown varietals like Nerello Mascalese from Sicily, Primitive from Puglia and Vermentino from Sardinia and many more. There will be an opportunity to taste difficult to find zero- sulphite wines. Dr. Massimiliano Sponzilli, the man behind the Italian pavilion believes that Italian wines may be difficult to understand and it is important to impart the consumer adequate knowledge about them. Once they understand the wines, they can derive ample pleasure drinking  Italian wines which have a huge diversity.

One of the highlights will be an Italian  Master Class on 27th October by Antonio Boco, titled ‘The Unheard Story of Italian Wines’. Antonio is a well-known Italian journalist who was voted the ‘Best Young Journalist for Italian Wines’ by Comitato Grandi Cru d’Italia in 2010. The Master Class will take you through different regions of Italy and their fascinating grapes and tell you how wine and the social fibers of these regions are inter-twined. He will also demystify the Italian local grape varietals to enable you to understand and enjoy wines made from these fascinating grapes.

A total of around 400 companies are expected to participate. Other participating countries besides the host nation Singapore and the usual biggies Australia and New Zealand include France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Austria, Georgia, South Africa, Chile and Argentina, besides Japan and Russia. About 5000 trade visitors are expected to visit the annual Show. Details are at

‘The celebrated show, with its extensive wine seminars and distinguished guest speakers, has successfully established itself as the region’s most sought-after dedicated industry event,’ says Jason Ng, Executive Director of MP International, co-organizer of the Show. It attracted close to 4,000 visitors from 39 countries last year. Singapore has established itself as a major regional hub for wine re-exports to the rest of Asia. Therefore, the Singapore-based Show is well-positioned to continue its role as the region’s choice platform for wine business and networking opportunities, according to the organizers.

SEA Wine Pioneer Recognition Award

Southeast Asia’s (SEA) wine industry has reached its present state of development through the commitment of a few pioneers who entered the market as early as 1970s and 1980s. They went beyond the call of duty to advance the region’s wine landscape, making wine a significant factor in tourism and lifestyle industries in Asia and also added a new dimension to the ‘savoir vivre’ of Asian consumers.

The SEA Wine Pioneer Recognition Award has been established this year to give due recognition to these dedicated wine pioneers in each of the Southeast Asian countries- Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam . The names of these people to be selected by a judging panel will be announced at the WFA at the Award Ceremony on 26th October.

Global Wine Personality

Global Wine Personality Series was launched at the previous edition of WFA with the international wine consultant, Michel Rolland  who is well-known in India for his consultancy assignment with Grover Vineyards since its inception, getting recognized as the first such Global Wine Personality. Following the success of the launch, another personality will be honoured this year as second in the Series.

Wine Style Asia Awards

Held in conjunction with Wine for Asia, the Wine Style Asia Award which was initiated in 2004 will be held once again on October 10-11 in Conrad International hotel. The Award which recognizes both quality and diversity in the wines received over 460 entries in its latest edition, resulting in 6 Trophies, 30 Gold, 115 Silver and 56 Bronze medals.

The blind tasting will be carried out by the judging panel headed by the Singaporean wine guru John Chua, a renowned international wine judge for over 20 years. The panel consists of 9 international judges, 8 of whom are from Asia. It includes Subhash Arora (India) who has been invited for the second time. Other judges are Cheong Hai Poh, (Singapore), Yohan Handoyo (Indonesia), Pairach Intaput  (Thailand) Thomas Ling (Malaysia), Maria Isabel Mijares (Spain), Kym Milne MW (Australia) and To Viet (Vietnam). ‘It is our endeavour to get mostly Asian judges because our palates are possibly different than the Europeans and Americans,’ says John who still travels internationally for similar competitions.

Results will be announced at the WSA Awards Gala Dinner to be held on Diwali, the 26th of October. Winning entries will be published in the show booklet and also showcased at the Wine for Asia on October 27-28. The samples must reach the organizers on September 28 though. Details are at

Hosted Buyers programme

Wine For Asia (WFA) 2011 continues with its popular Hosted Buyers Programme this year too (Indian Wine Academy had first taken such a delegation of buyers from India in 2005). Besides all the South Eastern countries, designated buyers from India and Sri Lanka are invited to this programme if they meet the selection criteria. If you are a wine importer / trader / distributor / retailer / wholesaler and feel you qualify for this programme, you are welcome to apply directly to

Master Classes

As every year, a series of master classes will be staged to bring the world of wines to the Asian wine trade. Wines from France, Australia, Italy, Chile, Spain, Portugal, New Zealand, South Africa, Greece and Germany will be showcased in these Master Classes.  This programme excludes India for which Subhash Area had been a speaker at the 3rd edition held in 2005. Vinosity Singapore 2011 will allow WFA visitors to experience Singapore’s exciting wine scene, get a feel of the local market, whilst increasing their wine knowledge. A Celebration of 128 Great years of Bordeaux is another high profile wine event featuring wines from the well-known châteaux of Bordeaux.

The public-private sector partnership has been instrumental in transforming Singapore into an emerging F&B Hub for the region. F & B Industry Forum brings together a panel of eminent industry players to share their personal experiences during these developments. It will be particularly useful to those in the F & B industry in India, who wish to understand the F&B landscape in Singapore in particular and Asia in general. Similarly of benefit to the restaurateurs will be the F & B Concept Tour. There will be several additional programmes the details of which are available at

Although Diwali, the annual festival of light, a very religious and social festival similar to the Chinese New Year, falls on 26th October and will play a spoil sport for many from India, it will be an interesting event for Indian importers and other designated buyers who may benefit from  the Hosted Buyers Programme offer, if they  leave on Diwali night, on 26th October.

Subhash Arora


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