Sunday night’s hail storms across the territory have wiped out the entire crop from Hong Kong’s only vineyard says the Hong Kong Department for Food and Beverage Progression. The hail, measuring the size of golf balls in places came down in a ferocious storm on Sunday night that left winery owner Yhum Hong Jau in despair.
“It’s a disaster”, he told Wine Times HK. “The storm has completely flattened the crop that was going to make my 2014 Chateau See – our top of the range Bordeaux style wine”.
Chateau See was founded only 2 years ago in AOC Kam Tin but has miraculously managed to make a vintage since the first fruit appeared on the vines 2 years ago. “It’s no miracle”, says Mr. Yhum. “In Kam Tin, we have the best weather in Hong Kong and top, top terroir – close to that of famed Bordeaux house Lafite”.
“We were hoping that this year would be the year where we could increase our prices to compete with the first growth wines”, said Mr. Yhum. “Why should only French wine be priced so high? My AOC Kam Tin wines are just as good, but this year we will make no wine at all”, he noted, sobbing uncontrollably.
The night of freak weather was one of but a few times that hail had been seen in the tropical country and was part of a huge storm that rolled into the city as tens of thousands were on the street celebrating England’s loss to New Zealand in the final of the IRB Hong Kong Rugby Sevens.
“On the bright side”, he said, wiping tears away from his eyes. “The weather gods have been fortuitous to us and I think, because of the hail I will be able to make an Ice Wine for the first ever time”.