Misha’s Vineyard celebrates its 10th vintage this month and also announces further expansion of their distribution across Southeast Asia with the addition of Myanmar and Indonesia.
From the outset, the strategy for the spectacularly located Misha’s Vineyard, has been to build a premium brand working primarily with top restaurants and five-star hotels around the world with a particular focus on the Asia Pacific region.
“When we launched our wines into the market in early 2010, we announced 3 distributors in Asia – Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong – as well as Negociants New Zealand as our domestic distribution partner” said Misha Wilkinson. “Since then we’ve steadily increased our coverage across the Asia Pacific region and delighted to now be adding Myanmar and Indonesia, bringing the total number of markets in the region to fourteen.”
In Myanmar, Misha’s Vineyard will be represented by Ikon Mart, the key supplier to top hotels and premium restaurants for over 15 years, and in Indonesia, Misha’s Vineyard will focus on Bali working with Istana Indah Wines, which is owned by wine importer Pantja Artha Niaga. Misha’s Vineyard has also changed their distribution partner in China and since January 2016 have been represented by Prestige Fine Wines, based in Beijing.
In New Zealand, celebrations for the 10th vintage were kicked off in style at The Rees Hotel in Queenstown on the 1st April where Executive Chef Ben Batterbury showcased his award-winning culinary skills at a sold-out 9-course degustation dinner. Estate owners Andy and Misha Wilkinson, delved into library stocks to showcase the entire range of Misha’s Vineyard wines, sharing some of the best examples across the 9 vintages completed to date. The stunning array of wines included the first wine ever produced from their site, a selection of wines that have won some of the highest international accolades and wines that have now been designated ‘classic wines’ of New Zealand.
Joining in the 10th vintage celebrations was one of New Zealand’s leading wine journalists, Bob Campbell MW, and the inaugural winner of the New Zealand Sommelier of the Year, Andy Gladding, from the French Café in Auckland. Misha’s Vineyard has a close relationship with the Sommelier Awards, which are conducted by the New Zealand School of Food & Wine, and sponsor the Junior Sommelier of the Year title each year. Bob and Andy’s visit to Central Otago also included a helicopter flight around the Cromwell Basin, an in-depth tour of the 57-hectare estate led by Vineyard Manager, Michelle Dacombe, and vertical tastings of Misha’s Vineyard Pinot Noir with Olly Masters. Olly is one of New Zealand’s most acclaimed winemakers and judges and has been at the helm of the winemaking at Misha’s Vineyard from the first vintage.
Andy and Misha Wilkinson have recently returned from a business trip around Southeast Asia where they also embarked on some early celebrations for their 10th vintage milestone. Activities included hosting a wine dinner in Kuching, the capital of the state of Sarawak on Borneo, and a wine tasting event in George Town, the Penang capital – regions where their distributor, Finlux Sdn Bhd, is working to increase the footprint of the Misha’s Vineyard brand across Malaysia. The Wilkinsons also visited Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam to conduct tastings and education then hosted several wine dinners in Singapore at venues including the five-star Intercontinental Hotel and the prestigious Singapore Island Country Club.
There are many auspicious elements about Misha’s Vineyard that appeal to the Asian market including being located on an old Chinese gold-mining site, and having an uncanny occurrence of the number 8 – a very lucky number in Chinese culture. Andy and Misha lived in Singapore for 17 years and worked extensively around the Asia Pacific region and knew that cool climate aromatic white varieties and Pinot Noir were well suited to the subtle and exotic flavours of Asia.
“Our strict marketing philosophy and approach has held us in good stead over six years since our wines were launched into the market. We have managed to build a premium brand in more than 20 export markets” said Andy Wilkinson. “Hitting our 10th vintage is a milestone worth celebrating but in wine terms it’s still early days. Our focus is now on the next 10 years and ensuring we stay true to our commitment to our distributors and customers and delivering the very best wines we can produce.”