An array of vintages for capital bon vivants

Updated: 2011-03-13 08:00

By Ye Jun (China Daily)

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An array of vintages for capital bon vivants


Wine lovers in Beijing have a new hangout in the city. ASC Fine Wines just launched The Wine Gallery in Beijing's Sanlitun Village North - a multifunctional wine venue on three floors.

Hidden behind an old Chinese-style wooden gate, it is a place to showcase all the services ASC provides, says CEO Don St. Pierre Jr.

On display: more than 1,200 wines and 100-plus wineries from 15 countries around the world.

In one corner, there are more than 80 bottles of the most popular, and some most expensive, wines on the company's list. On another side, there are some representatives of wines by category available for sale.

There are introductions to Italian and Australian wines, as well some brands that sell best in China, such as Penfolds, and Santa Rita.

St. Pierre sees the gallery as a center of wine culture and educational events, for wine experts and wine lovers to gather.

"It is a place to bring together traders, retailers and the end customer," says St. Pierre. "We'll provide training programs for private clients, restaurants and enterprises."

He believes The Wine Gallery will be a more appealing space for a wine-tasting class than the company's offices, where wine classes were held previously.

The second floor of the gallery has a professional wine classroom, and two automatic wine-selling machines. There are also private rooms where people can order food from nearby, and experiment with food and wine pairing. A terrace on the third floor is designed for open-air events in warm weather.

The gallery provides leasing of wine lockers with ideal storage conditions.

Three years ago, St. Pierre opened The Wine Residence in Shanghai. The company will open a wine gallery in Hong Kong before the end of the quarter, he says.

"Compared to six years ago, Chinese wine drinkers know a lot about wine," St. Pierre says. "So many new customers have come in."

He says his Chinese customers' interests range from familiar brands such as Penfolds and Beringer to Bordeaux wines and Chateau wines.

The company's wine list does not yet include a Chinese wine, although Pierre says he is still looking.

"Beijing is the origin of ASC, and where high-end wines sell best among all cities of China," he says.

Last year the company organized 800 events in Beijing, mostly with Chinese customers.

China Daily

(China Daily 03/13/2011 page13)


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