In Hong Kong, we are lucky enough to have a duty-free market and enjoy a seemingly endless variety of Old World and New World wines from Europe, the Americas, Australia and New Zealand. But as a native Californian, I do admit to missing the easy-to-drink yet quality Cabernet Sauvignons and Chardonnays from Napa and the Central Coast, especially around this time of year during harvest season in Napa and Sonoma counties.

Fortunately for us, Napa came to us when the California Wines Vinter’s Tour came barrelling through Hong Kong last week. We jumped at the chance to go on a virtual tour and very real tasting of Napa, Sonoma and Central Coast wines.

As part of a landmark Asia vinter’s tour organised by the Wine Institute in California, more than 40 wineries proudly showcaseed over 375 wines at the California Vintner‘s Tour last Wednesday at the Grand Hyatt. With California’s largest-ever contingent of wineries to arrive in Hong Kong as the fourth stop during a five-city Asian tour, the Grand Tasting featured film-themed wine tours for attendees to personalise tasting itineraries based on their interests. For example, the “Blockbuster” tour shared the biggest names and wines from the state.

In a bit of a nod to the movie Sideways, we went down the “Adventure” route to discover an exciting blend of superstars and off-the-beaten-track wines, regions and varieties. While happy to skip along and sample famous brands from California including Silver Oak, Schramsberg Vineyards, Duckhorn Vineyards, Francis Ford Coppola, Gloria Ferrer and others, we were excited to see those with less international recognition that are gaining widespread attention in the US market. Standouts included wines from smaller producers including Ca’ Del Grevino and Loring Wine Company.

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Organised by the Wine Institute, the 2017 California Wines Vintner’s Tour is officially the largest collection of winery representatives travelling around the region in 2017. Unofficially, it’s a fantastic opportunity for those in the wine industry and enthusiasts alike to taste and sample a broad spectrum of California wines on the market – and a diverse collection not yet available commercially in the region.

California Vinter's Tour - A Virtual Tour of Napa and Sonoma

For more information on California wines and to create your own virtual tour of Napa and Sonoma counties, click here.

A big thanks to the Wine Institute for the invite.

Working 9 to wine. Follow my wine & spirits adventures on Instagram @madame_toasst

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