Christopher Beros, Director for Greater China and Southeast Asia for California Wines spoke to The Shout about the importance of trade shows, and highlighted one Asian nation he believes will be key for American wines.
Beros opened proceedings at the USA pavilion in Singapore’s famous Marina Bay Sands venue, highlighting current trends in the state’s wines.
“We’re very proud to be here in Singapore, and very happy to have our friends from Oregon and Washington [State] here with us.
“There’s a lot of innovation. People are bold and trying new things. Sustainability is an incredibly important part of the culture and the practice of wine in California – and also inclusiveness, we really believe in bringing people together and making the practice of wine a holistic practice.”
After his speech, The Shout caught up with Beros to get his perspective on the exposition, the US’s country of honour status and the current state of play for American wines in Asia-Pacific.
“Any time you’re a region of honour – it’s an honour, and I think it’s also a recognition that in Asia, in Southeast Asia, but in Asia generally, there’s recognition that California is making incredibly good, high quality wines – and is increasing their distribution throughout the world.
“It’s becoming more of an attractive product for consumers, whereas I think in the past, it didn’t have as much recognition as it does now,” Beros says.
Beros’s words will be of interest to Australian wine exporters, given the enormous importance of the Southeast Asian markets to the Australian industry.
Indeed, Beros describes the Asia-Pacific region for American wines as “very, very important.”
“[Currently] the most volume is going into markets like Canada and the UK – and even Japan and Korea,” he continues.
“But if you look at the markets where they’re trying to identify growth, it’s all in Greater China and Southeast Asia. That’s why our focus is very much in this part of the world. Because we need to be in markets who are going to grow over time.”
And Beros gives the example of one nation in particular.
“Vietnam has 100 million people, 70 per cent are under 40 years old. It will have a GDP growth this year at six and a half per cent, very pro-American, and really benefitting from a lot of growth in manufacturing and an increasing middle class.
“A country like that is very, very attractive and appealing, because it represents growth.”
Finally, Beros also spoke to the importance of trade shows like Vinexpo Asia.
“There are a lot of trade shows out there, and so we’re kind of discerning about which trade shows we go to because it’s expensive and we want to make sure the position is correct.
“Trade shows are important for two reasons. One is branding and recognition in the wine world – who California wines are. But also it’s their commercial benefits to our wineries.
“Usually at these trade shows, a lot of wineries – virtually all of them – will do business here that they would not otherwise do,” Beros concludes.