Summergate Fine Wines & Spirits co-founder Ian Ford is currently navigating the second disease outbreak of his career in the China drinks industry.
SARS had very similar impacts on the Chinese economy to those of COVID-19. As such, Ian has a unique perspective on recent events, and what the next few months could look like for those of us who are in the process of emerging from lockdown.
But this interview was also an opportunity to find out a bit more about the Chinese drinks market from Ian, who has an intimate understanding of the local consumption trends.
Since selling Summergate to Australian retailer Woolworths in 2014, he founded a new company called Nimbility, which provides expertise to wine, spirits and beer producers seeking to export their products to Asia.
And in fact, I know of at least one company previously featured on Drinks Adventures that has used Nimbility’s services.
First up though, you’ll hear from Ian how he originally came to relocate from New York City to begin a career in the Chinese drinks industry in 1995.