Friday, June 29, 2012

View from the 101st Floor!

I received a lot of e-mails about my last post, mainly around how high is 101 stories in a skyscraper? Well it is approx 1/2 a kilometer tall (500meters). And what does that feel like? Well the best way to visualise what that means is to look at the view from a window......

And to make the foodies among readers envious, have a good look at the following menu. The food was superb and we shared these magnificent dishes and fantastic Murdoch James wines with a full house. The service was superb also, making this a very successful evening. Recommend the restaurant and the experience to anyone visit Hong Kong and looking for a wonderful place to dine.

Some more facts on the building itself. It is actually 118 stories tall, a five star hotel occupies floors 102 to 118. The world's highest swimming pool and bar (OZONE) can be found on the top 118th floor. The express elevators take you from ground level to floor 101 in less than 50 seconds - that's fast! Try not to think about the big hole under the lift floor though!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Not all beer & skittles

One of the great pleasures of making and selling wine is meeting your importers and agents all around the world.

This week I am in Hong Kong promoting our wines with our importers there (Nathan Fine Wines). Not the best time of the year to be here; hot, humid, crowds...

But, it's not all bad. Tonight I am hosting a Winemakers Dinner featuring Murdoch James Estate wines at Sky Crystal Restaurant at the top of the ICC Tower in Kowloon. This is the highest restaurant in Hong Kong on the 101st floor of the tower (to confirm, that is the 101st floor). A 7 course menu matching our wines with a great selection of Shanghai style dishes. I'm told it is a total sell-out, so that is great. The tall building in the centre of the image on the right is the ICC Tower. It will be privilege to present our wines there and to experience a very special location in which to do it. Only problem is, I'm a wee bit frightened of heights - but, as they say, no such thing a free lunch (or in this case dinner)!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Excise: And you thought I was exaggerating

Last week I posted a blog on my favourite hate: Excise. You may have thought I was overstating the cost to the industry?

Well consider this: Over $2.00/bottle of wine sold in New Zealand goes to the government. This equates to over $170 million a year paid by the New Zealand wine industry to the government (note that is just Excise tax, remember that the industry also pays GST and Income taxes too).

In Marlborough alone excise payments total around $127 million pa. Converted to income to the government per tonne of grapes, that is approximately $2,000/tonne of grapes.

Now compare that to the average of what Marlborough grape growers receive for a tonne of grapes which is only $1,400.

How crazy is that!?

(Source: NZ Winegrower Magazine, June/July 2012)