SAN FRANCISCO—Misconceptions about California wines were shattered four decades ago in Paris when two of the state’s wines—Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon and Chateau Montelena Chardonnay, both vintage 1973—earned top scores in a blind tasting against the finest French wines. On May 25, 2016, the day after the 40th anniversary of the “Judgment of Paris,” a tasting at Vinexpo Hong Kong will similarly address global perceptions of California wines.
Hosted by the California Wine Institute, the “California STYLE! Breakfast Symposium and Tasting” will feature four of the world’s leading wine experts: Karen MacNeil, author of The Wine Bible; Sarah Jane Evans MW, chairman of the Institute of Masters of Wine; Debra Meiburg MW, Asian wine market expert and founding director of Meiburg Wine Media; and Decanter magazine Publishing Director Sarah Kemp, who will serve as moderator. The program will include a tasting and discussion of 14 California wines from diverse regions, hand-picked by the speakers to showcase the range and quality of the state’s wine offerings.
“California has 138 distinct winegrowing regions influenced by 800 miles of coastline,” said Linsey Gallagher, Wine Institute Vice President of International Marketing. “Our immensely talented growers and vintners are making wines of world-class quality in a range of styles that is much broader than many people realize. This event will showcase the evolution of California wine 40 years after the famous Paris tasting.”
The presenters will bring a global perspective to the subject of California wine, and address its current and future place in the wine industry worldwide and in Hong Kong’s vibrant wine market.
“California ranks first in the nation for culinary travel. Interest and sales of our wines have never been higher,” added Robert P. (Bobby) Koch, President and CEO of Wine Institute. “The world has discovered that incredible food and wine can be found throughout the state in both our famous and soon-to-be-famous regions.”
Following the symposium, the four presenters will participate in events and informal appearances at the California Wines trade show pavilion to answer questions and chat with attendees. The pavilion will also feature an art performance on May 25 by painter David Garibaldi, who uses a unique physical method to create iconic celebrity portraits and pieces to commemorate events.
A large California delegation will attend Vinexpo Hong Kong 2016 with 61 vintners representing 113 wineries, 30 AVAs and more than 200 brands. Hong Kong is the third largest market for U.S. wine exports accounting for $97 million in revenues in 2015. Total U.S. wine exports, 90% from California, reached an all-time record in 2015 with $1.61 billion in winery revenues and 461 million liters or 51.2 million cases.
Videos of discussions from the now sold out “California STYLE!” tasting will be available following the event at www.DiscoverCaliforniaWines.com/CAWINESTYLE. Follow the event on Twitter at #CAWINESTYLE .