By Charlotte Read – Asian Market Manager

Happy Chinese New Year of the Rabbit.  I would be intrigued to follow the journey of all the wine bottles that were given as gifts throughout this important holiday!    I’m looking forward to making my first trip to Asia in 2011 next week, when the busy holiday season is over.  Although leaving the balmy temperatures of the New Zealand summer for the sub zero conditions in Beijing is going to be an adjustment!   However the quick pace of the trip will keep the blood flowing.  Between February 16 to March 2 I will spend time in Beijing, Shanghai, Xiamen, Shenzhen, Hong Kong before warming up closer to the equator in Singapore en route home.

Upon my return, our 2011 vintage will be in full swing.  We’ve had fabulous ripening conditions throughout the summer months, so long may they continue.  Now that I’m based in New Zealand, I am looking forward to the chance to spend a couple of days in the cellar.  Villa Maria’s concert season will also ensure our grapes surrounding the Auckland and Marlborough wineries will get some timely tuneful stimulation in their final ripening days prior to harvest.

I will return to Asia a month later for the New Zealand Wine Growers tasting in China and Japan in April.  On April 12 we will be showing a great range of wines in Beijing http://www.nzwine.com/events/new-zealand-wine-fair-beijing-2011/and then will repeat the tasting in Shanghai on the 14th.  Seminars will also be run in both cities for those really keen to learn more about the diversity of New Zealand wine. We then continue onto Japan for tastings in Tokyo on April 18th and April 20th. http://www.nzwine.com/events/new-zealand-wine-fair-tokyo-2011/

 This brings me to the Easter holidays – I think taking some time to more sedately enjoy Japan is a must.  The Japanese vineyards beckon…

This will be my final blog post on Asian Correspondent, to keep in touch with the latest Villa Maria news sign up for our newsletter at www.villamaria.co.nz