now, we can truly say that the wine fever has reached hong kong in a big way with the opening tonight of its very 1st urban winery.
yes, you read me right. it's now official, hong kong has its very own winery, making and barrel maturing it's very own wine in it's very own cellars. in the 8th estate winery that is.
how, you will ask, can hong kong, a tropical climate where jungle and concrete dominates, make it's own wines? ' well, it seems that we are more connected than ever before.
from various parts of the world, de-stemmed high quality grapes are brought-in frozen right here in an industrial estate more famous for its antique furniture and home decoration shops. they are then processed in a traditional manner under the expert hands of wine master gianni seminari and matured in oak barrels for a period of many months before bottling and release.
the cellars now contain enough wine to fill 85,000 bottles of various varieties including chardonnay, gewurztraminer, sauvignon blanc, cabernet franc, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, shiraz, and ice wine.
their idea is to monitor the progress of the maturation and blend hong kong's very own "meritage" within a few months. they also want to offer guests and clients, the opportunity to create their own blends, under the guidance of gianni, and preserve their own barrel in the estate until they are satisfied that the wine has reached maturity for bottling under the client's personal label.
tonight, we barrel tasted several of the wines made last february including a merlot, a cabernet sauvignon, a shiraz, and a cabernet franc and some were showing quite a bit of promise for a 1st attempt. no doubt the next "vintage"will be much better coming and, as we speak, there are tons of frozen grapes on the way to hong kong including some from chianti and piedmont that were picked this last fall by the team in charge of the 8th estate.
besides, the facilities are interesting in themselves as they offer those who are passionate about wine an incredible venue for wine tasting, dinners, and other wine related activities. before the 8th estate, we had to ride a plane for 10 hours before we could reach a winery. now, within a 10 minutes cab ride from central, we are as close as the real thing.
something else, i tell you.
the 8th estate winery: unit 302, harbour industrial center, 10 lee hing st., ap lei chau, hong kong tel: +852 2518 0922