Recently, I made a trip to Malaysia for a property investment conference. It’s been almost 2 years since I have been there so it’s quite an interesting experience. Of course, as someone who loves wine, I can’t help but to check out the local wine scene. To my delight, I was not short of choice! I went through the list of wine bar in KL and decided to go for a quirky Chinese decor wine bar. It was a laid back bar with a large selection of wines. What impressed me most about this wine bar was the 20 selection of wine by the glass menu. I always like to try different wines and frankly, getting a bottle when I was traveling alone, did not sound like an appealing option. So by the end of the night, I had 3 glasses of wine ranging from the traditional French Bordeaux wine to the new world South African wine. It was an enjoyable evening.
Now, you may be wondering why did I choose this title of the post. In the 2 days that I was in Malaysia, I learnt that there is an strong appetite for overseas investment in Malaysia. I saw multiple ads on newspaper on properties for sale in London, New York and most interestingly vineyard investment. As a wine lover, this really intrigued me. So, I begun my research and learnt that Asia is indeed the up and coming wine region. There are relatively new vineyards that are challenging the norm (and the weather) to grow grapes around this region. Many of you may know Bali as a fantastic tropical island holiday destination. Little did I know that there is a vineyard in that island!
The more innovative wine makers started making wines from local fruits. I’ve tasted peach wine from Australia a while ago and it was a good dessert wine. I’ve also written about the wine made from Durian in a university in Singapore. That idea has yet to be tested in the market but nonetheless, intriguing. On the other hand, there are vineyards in Thailand that uses the traditional European Cabernet Savignon, Chenin blanc, and Shiraz grapes. Some of these vineyards have been produced better quality wine over the years.
Is vineyard investment in Asia really taking off? Short answer to that is, I don’t know. But we know that the wine consumption in Asia has been increasing steadily in the last decade. Premium wine demand has increased exponentially particularly in China. In fact, the owner of the famous Chateau Lafite has invested GBP 10million in a winery in Shandong, China. The demand of wine in Asia is expected to raise in the next few years with rising income level and increasing quality of life in Asia. With the decrease in production of premium wine in Europe. Assuming, the demand of wine maintain at a steady increment. We can expect that the price of wine will be higher as supply declines. As premium wines prices go up, the demand may adjust itself to be lower. When that happens, it is likely that the demand will shift to more affordable wines from relatively newer region.