Who is Ginsberg+Chan?
Ginsberg+Chan are fine wine specialists in the secondary wine market. Our name represents the two co-founders husband and wife team Jason Ginsberg and Mandy Chan. The secondary wine market represents wines that are sold after their initial release from the winery. Our focus is in buying and selling older collectable wines – wines that are dwindling in supply as they are drank and highly collected. Wines that have often reached an asset class level. We concentrate on buying wine collections from private individuals that have great provenance or from other trusted sources in the wine trade. Unlike many wine traders in this arena of luxury wines, we own most of our stock. All the wines on our list are located in Hong Kong and are ready for delivery.
Please expand on the provenance of wine
When people speak of provenance in the wine trade this refers to how the wine has been stored and kept since its bottling at the winery. In the secondary wine market, provenance is of extreme importance because a wine collector or wine investor wants to know if the wine they are about to spend a small fortune on is in the best condition their money can buy. The ultimate finale for these wines is to be consumed – hence good provenance is an assurance that these wines will still give one pleasure when the bottle if finally opened. There is also the question of authenticity. Great provenance in a wine means that the bottle has been stored at around 13 degree Celsius in a humid, dark storage area and is visibly in good condition.
Who are your clients?
Our clients are a mix of private wine collectors and people in the wine trade who purchase for other wine collectors, hotels and restaurants and for wine investment funds.
What sets you apart from all the other wine merchants in Hong Kong?
We are a small informal family run business with a serious take on service and on the care of our wines. Our wine inventory focuses narrowly but deeply on the most treasured wines in the world. There is an obvious weight in French wines as these are widely the most coveted but we also have some treasures from Italy, Germany, California as well as a sprinkling from Hungary, Austria and Australia. We own most of our stock unlike other wine traders who broker the wines on their list. This makes a difference because we put our own money into our inventory so what you see on our wine list is ours. And therefore you can bet that we care about where the wine came from, that it’s authentic, we care for how it is shipped here and how it is stored. We sell our wines with great confidence. We also have a certain amount of wines on our list that is consigned to us from other private collectors who entrust the sale of their wines with us as opposed to an auction.
Why are you attracted to wine?
We felt from a business standpoint, that the luxury wine class is a more conservative approach to investing our money than commercial wines. At this end of the wine trade, wines are bought and sold like any other commodity where there is dwindling supply. Our customers are generally well educated and so our focus is in finding wines with the great provenance and shipping it here with absolute care. From a personal standpoint, the wine trade offers an amazing lifestyle for us as travelers, food and wine lovers and is a passion that we can gain from it for life long.
Talk about the growth in your business
We have seen tremendous growth. Our growth has allowed us to expand from a small serviced office to our new boutique location in the heart of Happy Valley. We have also grown our team from our two founding partners to a small team of sales staff. Our mailing list is approximately 550 people with an open rate of 37% with our mail outs -19% higher than the industry standard. Our trade list also continues to grow and more importantly our name is growing into a brand that is recognizable amongst many collectors for being quality wine merchants who stock mature rare wines.
How has your business changed from your original plan?
In our original portfolio we also carried a small selection of house wines that were all organic or biodynamic. This proved to be a mistake that we have learned from. These small hand crafted wines first and foremost did not ‘fit’ with the rest of our product line. Secondly we learnt that they require a different business model altogether that we may go back to further down the road but in the meantime, we’re focusing on what our customers come to us for – older rare bottles.
What are your future plans? What do you want your business to become?
Although we are still primarily an online merchant, with our new boutique office we now have a small cellar that holds approximately 500 bottles of loose odd bottles of vintage wines and champagne. We also have a tasting room where we can now entertain, educate and meet with clients. Our plans are to continue what we are doing and carefully increase our sales staff to properly represent what we stand for.
How do you focus on service?
Today our wine list continues to be a great treasure list to read through if you are a serious wine lover. We are proud of our continued and repeated list of customers who like us for our personable and efficient approach. We serve our clients with the flexibility they require and we appreciate every single person we deal with. We often take calls at night, do deliveries to wherever necessary and respond to our clients with the attention they require. For example, we have a client who from Taiwan who will purchase from us, store with us and when they are ready we’ll deliver the wines to their personal assistants before their flights.
Our business started as an idea over a thanksgiving dinner in 2008. As well seasoned travelers Jason and Mandy were eager to live abroad from their home in Toronto, Canada. With two young children the obvious choice was to move to Hong Kong where Mandy has family and where short distance travel is much more accessible. Coming from very diverse backgrounds, Jason was in real estate sales and Mandy was previously a developer for IBM in web technologies, they decided to make a dramatic change and reinvent their family lives to the way they’d want it to be. The wine industry was something that had fascinated them for a long time in 2009 they decided that the luxury end of wine sales was a conservative starting point after careful consideration of the wine market in Hong Kong. Completing their Advanced Certificates from Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), Mandy and Jason said a hard farewell to their friends and family, sold their belongings in Toronto and moved to Hong Kong to start their adventure.
Our wine list is updated daily and can be found here
Jason Ginsberg was born in Hamilton, Ontario (Canada) to a Jewish Father and a Swedish Mother. His father was a successful fashion retailer and like blood Jason has always been an entrepreneur. Before being in business of selling wine, he sold real estate and previous to that he owned a music store. He is the numbers guy and the principal wine purchaser in the business. He’s always amusing, has time to talk and enjoys a good glass of anything different.
Mandy Chan was born in Calgary, Alberta (Canada) to a Hong Kong born father and a Macau raised mother. She has lived in Calgary, Hong Kong, Victoria, Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto. In her previous profession she worked for IBM in one of their Software Labs as a team lead in development for 6 years before having children. She is the technology master creative in the partnership. She’s charming, prefers to listen and has an elephant’s memory for the wines she has tasted.
Together Jason and Mandy are proud parents of two young children who already prefer wine to beer.
Read more about us on our website.
Our current news is posted either on our website or on our facebook page. Collectively they tell half the story. As a small company, our constant struggle is with time. We are growing so quickly that it’s hard to capture everything that is going on in real time. Hong Kong is a very exciting wine market, the current center of the wine world one might say, and we feel very fortunate to be here in the thick of it. We love what we do. If you want to know more about what is going on, call or email Mandy and she’ll tell you or she’ll get Jay on the phone.
We have a small selected list of testimonials and press clippings on our website. For more, please contact us.
Please contact Mandy at firstname.lastname@example.org