One of this city's hottest businesses these days is located inside the cool, climate-controlled confines of a former World War II military bunker on the south side of Hong Kong island.


There, in a 6,000-square-foot space that offers some of the best cellaring conditions in Hong Kong, Gregory De'Eb shelters expensive wines from the semitropical climate for a rapidly expanding clientele of oenophiles from Hong Kong, mainland China and elsewhere in Asia. At around 27,000 cases, his storage facilities are filled to capacity.

这里占地6,000平方英尺的空间具备了香港最好的窖藏条件,迪耶伯(Gregory De'Eb)为昂贵的葡萄酒提供了避开亚热带气候的环境,以满足香港、中国内地和亚洲其它地区不断增长的品酒行家的需要。他的酒窖内共有27,000箱葡萄酒,已经达到了最大储藏能力。

'The past four months have been bigger than we ever expected,' says Mr. De'Eb, a former South African diplomat.


Surging demand for quality wine from China's newly rich, combined with the recent elimination of all wine duties in this bastion of free trade, is transforming Hong Kong into a global hub for wine trading and distribution.


Wine imports to Hong Kong jumped more than 34% to 32.5 million liters in the year ended March 31. Wine sellers and collectors say that inflow is coming from several sources -- longtime Asian collectors who are moving their wines closer to home, wine sellers who have recently set up shop in the city and buyers who are simply takingadvantage of the no-tax policy to ship a broader array of wines home from overseas.


Sales at Hong Kong wine auctions have reached US$47.2 million so far this year, a 75% increase from all of 2008, according to government data. Sotheby's, which held an US$8 million wine auction here in October, says the city has now surpassed London and New York as its most important market, owing to the city's potential for further growth.


Overall, London remains a larger market than Hong Kong in terms of dollar sales, says Nick Pegna, a Hong Kong-based managing director for the British wine merchant Berry Bros. & Rudd. But some sales counted in London are actually for clients in Hong Kong, he says. Hong Kong now accounts for nearly 35% of Berry Bros. sales versus about 25% two years ago, he says.

英国葡萄酒经销商Berry Bros. & Rudd驻香港董事总经理佩尼亚(Nick Pegna)说,总体而言,以美元销售额计算,伦敦的市场规模仍高于香港。但他说,算在伦敦头上的一些销售额实际上来自香港的客户。他说,香港目前占Berry Bros.销售额的近35%,两年前这个比例约为25%。

Driving Hong Kong wine sales is a law enacted early last year wiping out a 40% tax on wine imports, after a reduction from an 80% duty a year earlier. Mainland China, by contrast, levies a 48% tax on wine imports, and all other Asian countries impose duties of some kind.


While the biggest impact of the no-tax policy has been on the fine-wine market, in dollar terms, Hong Kong consumers at the low end of the market are also discovering they have greater access. In supermarkets, for instance, wine consumers are seeing 'a larger selection at much better prices than two years ago,' says Jeannie Cho Lee, a collector and wine writer.

虽然以美元计算,无税政策影响最大的是精品葡萄酒市场,但低端市场的香港消费者也发现他们有更多的机会。收藏家、葡萄酒作家李志延(Jeannie Cho Lee)说,比如在超市,葡萄酒消费者发现同两年前相比,他们的选择更多了,价格也更有吸引力了。

Mainland Chinese buyers are takingadvantage of Hong Kong's tax policy. On a visit to France, Beijing-based lawyer Jingzhou Tao shipped a couple of cases of Bordeaux to a friend in Hong Kong. Mr. Tao says that on regular visits to the city-state, he carries a couple of bottles home with him over the border.


For wine veterans, the exorbitant prices fetched at some recent auctions show that mainland buyers are still beginners in understanding the wine market. 'Sometimes they pay a higher price than what you see at local wine stores,' says George Tong, a 46-year-old collector from Hong Kong, especially for what he calls 'show-off' wines.

对葡萄酒资深人士而言,最近一些拍卖达到的高昂价格显示,内地买家在理解葡萄酒市场方面仍是小学生。46岁的香港收藏家George Tong说,有时他们付出的价格比你在本地商店中看到的价格还要高,尤其是对那些他所谓的"炫富"葡萄酒。

The king of show-off wines in China is Chateau Lafite Rothschild, and the 1982 vintage -- which typically sells for about US$5,000 in Hong Kong -- is considered the one to go for when sealing a deal with business associates or government officials, says Mr. Tong.

George Tong说,中国的炫富葡萄酒之王是拉菲庄园(Chateau Lafite Rothschild),而其中的1982年产葡萄酒(在香港的售价通常约合5,000美元)更被视为与商业伙伴或政府官员达成交易时的选择之一。

In a sign of its cachet, thieves stole 228 bottles of 1982 Lafite valued at US$877,000 in November, Hong Kong police said. The bottles were being stored in a warehouse in an area of the territory that abuts mainland China. Investigators say they are asking customs officials to look out for smugglers trying to carry the booty across the border.


For collectors here, one drawback is the dearth of storage space. Mr. De'Eb says that plans are under way for a larger space for wine storage at the former bunker, where a hodgepodge of Hong Kong Chinese, British, Indian and Canadian soldiers surrendered the island to the Japanese in 1941. In September, his company, Crown Wine Cellars, finished construction of a new wine storagewarehouse. It is the first phase of a facility near the mainland border that eventually will be able to hold 300,000 cases.

对于香港的收藏家来说,一个不足之处是缺乏贮藏空间。迪耶伯说,正计划在这个以前的防空洞中建设更大的葡萄酒贮藏空间。1941年,由香港的中国、英国、印度和加拿大士兵组成的杂牌军在这里向日本人投降。今年9月,他的公司皇冠酒窖(Crown Wine Cellars)完成了一个新的葡萄酒贮藏仓库的建设。这是一个地处与内地交界地区的仓库的第一期工程,最终这个仓库将能容纳30万箱葡萄酒。

Laura Santini
  • expensive [ik´spensiv] 移动到这儿单词发声 a.费钱的,昂贵的 (初中词汇)
  • climate [´klaimit] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.气候;特殊气候地带 (初中词汇)
  • elsewhere [,elsweə] 移动到这儿单词发声 ad.在别处;向别处 (初中词汇)
  • advantage [əd´vɑ:ntidʒ] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.优势;利益 (初中词汇)
  • director [di´rektə] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.指导者;....长;导演 (初中词汇)
  • actually [´æktʃuəli] 移动到这儿单词发声 ad.事实上;实际上 (初中词汇)
  • reduction [ri´dʌkʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.减少;缩小;降低 (初中词汇)
  • contrast [´kɔntrɑ:st] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.对比 v.使对比(照) (初中词汇)
  • impose [im´pəuz] 移动到这儿单词发声 v.课税;强加;利用 (初中词汇)
  • instance [´instəns] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.例子,实例,例证 (初中词汇)
  • lawyer [´lɔ:jə] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.律师;法学家 (初中词汇)
  • indian [´indiən] 移动到这儿单词发声 a.印度的 n.印度人 (初中词汇)
  • canadian [kə´neidiən] 移动到这儿单词发声 a.加拿大的n.加拿大人 (初中词汇)
  • construction [kən´strʌkʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.建设;修建;结构 (初中词汇)
  • facility [fə´siliti] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.容易;熟练;灵巧 (初中词汇)
  • storage [´stɔ:ridʒ] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.贮存;存储器 (高中词汇)
  • potential [pə´tenʃəl] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.&a.潜在的;可能的 (高中词汇)
  • access [´ækses] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.接近;通路;进入 (高中词汇)
  • seeing [si:iŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声 see的现在分词 n.视觉 (高中词汇)
  • selection [si´lekʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.选择;选拔;精选物 (高中词汇)
  • mainland [´meinlənd] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.大陆;本土 (四级词汇)
  • policy [´pɔlisi] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.政策;权谋;保险单 (四级词汇)
  • auction [´ɔ:kʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.&vt.拍卖 (四级词汇)
  • collector [kə´lektə] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.收款(税)员;收藏家 (四级词汇)
  • chateau [´ʃætəu] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.城堡;公馆,邸宅 (四级词汇)
  • thieves [θi:vz] 移动到这儿单词发声 thief的复数 (四级词汇)
  • warehouse [´weəhaus] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.仓库 v.存入仓库 (四级词汇)
  • trying [´traiiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声 a.难堪的;费劲的 (四级词汇)
  • eventually [i´ventʃuəli] 移动到这儿单词发声 ad.最后,终于 (四级词汇)
  • elimination [i,limi´neiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.消除;淘汰 (六级词汇)
  • taking [´teikiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声 a.迷人的 n.捕获物 (六级词汇)
  • impact [´impækt] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.影响,作用;冲击 (六级词汇)
  • drawback [´drɔ:bæk] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.不利;缺陷;退税 (六级词汇)
  • dearth [də:θ] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.缺少,缺乏;饥荒 (六级词汇)