Decanter talks exclusively to Penfolds winemaker Peter Gago about his involvement in the first Decanter Shanghai Fine Wine Encounter, which takes place at The Ritz Carlton in Shanghai on Saturday 29th November.
How much are you looking forward to the Decanter Shanghai Experience?
Honestly, I can’t wait. I’ve been going to Shanghai for over twenty years and it’s one of my favourite cities.
What sort of interest are you expecting?
This is a landmark event with the greatest wineries in the world taking part. So the response is going to be huge. People will come from all over China and the region to be there.
How would you compare the level of wine knowledge in Shanghai today with that of five or ten years ago?
Even compared to last year, it is 10% better. People in Shanghai are astonishingly passionate and knowledgeable. Last year, we did a Penfolds recorking clinic in Shanghai for the first time and the response was simply amazing. It showed that this is a serious collector market with real demand.
What attracts you to Shanghai?
I have to admit that the lack of time difference means I can always hit the ground running. But the main thing is the sheer buzz, vibrancy and excitement of this great city. It is the New York of the East. Nothing stands still.
Where will you stay when you are in Shanghai?
I’ll probably stay at either the Peace Hotel or the Waldorf Astoria. Both are fantastic. We launched the Bin 620 at the Waldorf and it was unbelievable. Now I know what a six star hotel is all about.
What are your favourite places to eat?
We have done a lot of great events at the ASC Residence which is very good and exceptionally professional. In terms of restaurants, it’s hard to beat the Inn on the Bund and Jean Georges. The food, wine lists and service are emphatically world class.
What else will you taste at the Decanter Shanghai Encounter?
As much as I can. It’s an amazing opportunity to taste the greatest wines in the world. So that’s exactly what I’ll be doing when I’m not pouring our own wines. Before I was a winemaker, I was a wine aficionado and wine collector. And I still am. I’m particularly hoping to get a ticket to the First Growths masterclass. To have all five chateaux showing their wines is such an un-missable event!
Peter Gago will be presenting a Penfolds Grange masterclass at the Decanter Shanghai Fine Wine Encounter on Saturday 29th of November.
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