The 8th Estate Winery – the first and only urban winery in Hong Kong

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Henry Yuen

Picture a winery: lush green vineyard, clear blue sky, trees and bushes in the background, the winemaker and his viticulture team walking the field, checking the grapes…but in Hong Kong? 

Ap Lei Chau used to be an industrial zone, turned dormant when majorities of factories moved to Mainland China to enjoy cheaper labour and operation cost.  As a result of revitalization attempts, art studios, specialty shops and odd workshops started to move into these almost empty industrial buildings. The 8th Estate Winery occupies a unit on the 3rd floor of a building and inevitably this urban winery has nothing that is lush and green.

The question is, are the aforementioned description requirements for wineries?

Lysanne Tusar, a fellow Vancouverite who went to Hong Kong to explore and landed the job as the Director and Chief Marketing Officer of the full scale 8th Estate Winery  would likely say ‘no!’ . Both viticulture skill and winemaking technique have improved significantly that urban wineries are no longer experimental but proven successful. “Good products, good marketing and good clientele service are the keys. We host public and private tastings, organize special events and wine parties. Our client list has been expanding since day 1.”

The young, energetic and very passionate Edward J. McDougall is the Winemaker who is trained in Australian and has extensive experiences in wine making. He sources his grapes from Australia, New Zealand and USA. Grapes are frozen to preserve its original and optimal condition, and flown in immediately upon harvesting. Pressed and barreled in various  American & French oak under the watchful eyes McDougall in Hong Kong, the 8th Estate Winery’s product list includes palate pleasing varietals of red, white and dessert wines. They even provide ‘Barrel Purchase’ that invite clients to work with McDougall closely to produce a private wine with a private blend that has the client’s personalized touch all over.

With the relaxation of Hong Kong’s liquor law and the good lifestyle pursuit, wine consumption is on the rise. Making wine indoor in an industrial block is already a reality.  So who dare say one cannot make wine in a concrete jungle? www.the8thestatewinery.com