The Hong Kong PolytU SHTM Successfully Hosts Inaugural International Conference on Wine Market and Cultures of Consumption

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HONG KONG, July 31, 2019 – Hosted by the SHTM in collaboration with the UNESCO Chair at the University of Burgundy, the first-ever International Conference on Wine Market and Cultures of Consumption was successfully held on 2-5 June 2019 at Hotel ICON, Hong Kong.

Since the elimination of the wine import tax in 2008, Hong Kong has become a major hub for the world wine market. The Chinese mainland, currently a centre of exponential development in fine wine transactions and purchases, has become the essential focal point for the continent’s premium wine trading and consumption. Hong Kong was thus a highly appropriate setting for an in-depth academic reflection on wine markets and consumption within Asia in general and China in particular.

On 3 June, the opening ceremony of this inaugural conference was graced by the presence of Mr Alexandre Giorgin, Consul General of France in Hong Kong and Macau; Professor Joëlle Brouard, UNESCO Chair “Culture and Wine Traditions” of the University of Burgundy and Terroir Manager; Professor Kwok-yin Wong, Associate Vice President (Research Support), PolyU; and Professor Kaye Chon, Dean, Chair Professor and Walter Kwok Foundation Professor in International Hospitality Management, SHTM, PolyU.

The opening ceremony was followed immediately by Plenary Session 1 entitled “The Wine Trade: Spaces, Flows, Actors and Territories”. The session was chaired by Ms Jeannie Cho Lee, SHTM Professor of Practice (Wine) and Master of Wine, with the participation of Mr Jasper Morris, Master of Wine, Wine Critic and Senior Consultant for Christie’s; Dr Demei Li, Associate Professor, Food Science and Technology College, Beijing University of Agriculture; Professor Haiyan Song, SHTM Associate Dean and Chair Professor and Mr and Mrs Chan Chak Fu Professor in International Tourism.

The plenary sessions that followed provided ample opportunity for both practitioners and academics to exchange views on various aspects of the conference’s prime focus. Plenary Session II entitled “The Organisation of Markets, Regulations and the Quality of Wines” was chaired by Professor Haiyan Song with the participation of Dr Caroline Le Goffic, Associate Professor, Paris Descartes University, and Professor William Gartner, Professor of Applied Economics, University of Minnesota. Dr Ksenia Kirillova, SHTM Assistant Professor, chaired Plenary Session III covering the topic “Patterns and the Influencing Factors of Evolution in Wine Taste and Reputation”, and was joined by Dr Olivier Jacquet, Research Engineer, UNESCO Chair “Culture and Traditions of Wine”, University of Burgundy, and Ms Jeannie Cho Lee. The final plenary session entitled “Consumers and Social & Cultural Wine Practices” was chaired by Dr Olivier Jacquet with the participation of Professor Jean-Robert Pitte, Perpetual Secretary of the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences, and Mr Steven Spurrier, Consultant Editor for Decanter and Honorary President of the Wine and Spirit Education Trust.

The wine masterclasses featured at the conference attracted excellent attendance. Dr Demei Li conducted the first masterclass on 3 June entitled “Understanding the Wines from Ningxia, China”. The second masterclass on the topic “Trends in Hong Kong: Consumer’s Favourite Wines/Styles” was conducted by Ms Amy Wong, Buyer and Educator for Watson’s Wine. Renowned academics and industry leaders also had the opportunity to attend a series of concurrent paper sessions together with the conference delegates.

At the concluding panel discussion entitled “Current Wine Consumption and Market Trends in Asia” chaired by Professor Haiyan Song, the Best Paper Award Presentation Ceremony was held. The winners were:

  • Best Paper in English – “The New and The Old: The Wine Tasting Landscape of China in the Global Encounter” by Dr Xiangchun Zheng, Yunnan Minzu University, China and Professor Nelson Graburn, University of California, Berkeley, USA
  • Best Paper in French – “Chinese Demand for Fine Wines” by Dr Eric Le Fur, INSEEC U., France

This international conference successfully provided a platform for wine industry practitioners, critics, policymakers, academics and students to exchange views and discuss current issues and future trends in the wine trade. The SHTM is honoured to have been able to play such a key role in charting the industry’s evolution and significance at both global and local levels.