Having witnessed over the last few visits to Shanghai the amazing build-up for which the city was preparing itself, World Expo 2010 is another demonstration of China's emergence. This visit took place on day 15 but Expo will be open until late November.
There is no question that the China pavilion is the star, high above all others on its own ground, but having our wine served on the French pavilion, we were quite happy to queue for just about an hour to get access. Located right next to the mighty German stand, France plays the green card, nature, quality of life and French "savoir vivre" which seems to fascinate the local visitors, the French pavilion receiving on this day some 70 000 visitors ! A small tip to visitors of the French Pavilion, to avoid the long queue, just go through the access to the Sens restaurant and go straight into action.
But what a pleasant surprise to have the honour of being welcomed by Jacques Pourcel in person, on the one and only French restaurant on the fair. Les frères Pourcel were amongst the first to set foot in Shanghai with their Sens and Bund. And how not to be proud to taste a glass of Gentil side by side with eau de Perrier, due to the great efforts of Summergate, our Chinese importer.
The green theme chosen by France for its pavilion absolutely fits the organisers' slogan "Better city, better life" but its content is also a showcase for its financial contributors, from Citroën to Michelin, the Musée d'Orsay and the ever global Louis Vuitton. The proof of Bernard Arnault's integration of E-marketing, the presence of a couple of laptop computers allowing visitors interested in their products to register online and be added to their Emailing list. With the current boom of E-commerce in China they will certainly one day be purchasing handbags from virtual stores and why not one day, a bottle of château Cheval Blanc or d'Yquem...
As expected, this first Chinese World Expo takes place under tight security of the local police, probably the one aspect of China that has least changed in decades !
No time gets wasted in China, and while all infrastructures are well in place in Shanghai for their World Expo demonstration, newly built hotels are now running at full capacity. The Puli now buzzing with guests remains on the top of their art of Asian urban resort concept. It seems the whole city of Shanghai and especially the hospitality sector is taking advantage of the Expo boost. La Lé wine bar just opened last week and Hugel is there also well into place, and our wines are in very good company. If you drop in for a glass, say hello for me to the managing partner Mindy Chu.