Well, vintage 2010 has started and I am reminded how I said exactly 12 months ago that I would blog every day on the 2009 vintage! Well, I'm not going to do that again this year - I learnt from bitter experience how challenging it is to publish interesting posts and still do the day job! But I will certainly continue the blog and try and post weekly.
It was easy to write this post as when I did it I was squeezed in a lovely economy seat on a flight to Vietnam. On one side of me fellow passenger is snoring loudly, while in front of me two babies are testing their lung-power. No snoring for me, so I thought "what a great opportunity to blog"......
I flew on Cathay Pacific, and when I read the newspaper on board I was a little concerned by the headlines: "Pilots hailed as hero's" which was reporting on a recent Cathay crash, but we got there safely. In fact, considering how full the flight was, and that I was in economy, I though both the cabin crew and the flight were superb. I strongly recommend them.
This basis of the trip is to go to Vietnam for two weeks to participate in the NZ Wine and Food Fairs in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, and then off to Hong Kong to work with our excellent importer there (Nathan Fine Wines).
There is a very active NZ Trade and Enterprise team in Vietnam and they have organised both consumer and trade tasting events in each city. With the trade, they have invited 10 NZ wineries who have not exported to Vietnam before to participate, and they have invited wine distributors who have an interest in representing NZ wines to the tastings. On top of that, they have set up despatch of samples and promotional materials. I have been really impressed at their organisation and efforts - first class. It should all be synergistic. The NZ T&E Vietnam team are to be commended on this initiative. I will also see a number of other importers that I have set up appointments with individually too. So, it will be a busy week, and I hope to come out of it with with new business. On the personal front, I have not been to Vietnam before, so it is an exciting trip for me.
As I said, after Vietnam I fly to Hong Kong to work with our existing importer there. We have set up some staff training and sales calls, but the thing I look forward to mostly are the dinners our agent has set up with his key customers - tasting wines with food is the very best way to present the wines, so it will be a great opportunity. I saw yesterday one of the menus - a 6 course degustation menu with each course partnered with one of our wines. I'll copy it into a future blog, just to make you all envious!