Originally from the UK, the former fashion model first arrived in Hong Kong in 2002. After quitting the runway, she continued in the fashion industry and then moved into publishing. However, after marrying into a family with a wine business stretching back 150 years, she too developed an interest and launched the China Wine and Spirits Awards (CWSA) in 2010 ? its fourth major competition, the China and Spirits Awards Best Value Wine 2013, is on 4 March. As president of the region’s biggest wine competition, with entries from over 35 countries and over 100 judges, England knows just how modish wine appreciation has become in China.
“Fashion led me to the wine business, as the wine that people were drinking in Hong Kong and China became as important as the designer clothes they wore. People were on a voyage of discovery. All of a sudden, it felt like friends were asking me which wines they should purchase. At the same time, wineries from Europe were asking me to recommend [where to find custom] in China. I felt it was vital Chinese buyers deserved to have access to the very best wines and judge for themselves what was best for China. Although I take it very seriously, I always have to remind myself that the best reason to drink is to relax and have a wonderful time with friends.”