Diplomat-turned-wine veteran Greg De’Eb wins Asian Personality Award 2023

Greg De’Eb, principal of Crown Wine Cellars Limited, has won the Asian Personality Award 2023, presented by the drinks business Asia, for his enduring contribution to the Hong Kong wine trade.

Image courtesy of XcalibrephotoHK

De’Eb, this year’s recipient, joins a growing league of industry heavyweights in Asia’s wine market that have won the award, including Grace Vineyards’ CEO Judy Chan, in 2012, Vincent Cheung, grand master of the Commanderie de Bordeaux in Asia, in 2014, the creators of the hugely popular manga series The Drops of God, Yuko and Shin Kibayashi, in 2016 and Peter Kwok, founder of Vignobles K Group, in 2018.

Hailing from South Africa, De’Eb attended school and university in Natal, where he graduated in 1988 with majors in Politics, Sociology and Psychology. He then served in the military until 1990 where he attained the rank of Lieutenant before re-joining the Foreign Service in the same year.

De’Eb served as a senior Career Diplomat until 2002 in a variety of locations including Taipei, Beijing and Hong Kong/Macau where he ultimately held the position of Head of Mission. He then left the Foreign Service and relocated permanently to Hong Kong where he joined the Crown Worldwide Group as the project proponent and Company Principal of Crown Wine Cellars Limited.

Crown Wine Cellars is Hong Kong’s premium wine cellar facility, private wine club and home to some of the world’s rarest wine. Located in a former military facility in Shouson Hill, this was the first public/private heritage conservation project in Hong Kong and was subsequently recognised by UNESCO in 2007.

Aside from wine and heritage architecture, De’Eb is involved in numerous charities, as well as community and education endeavours. He serves on several public and private panels, is a professional member of the Hong Kong Institute of Conservation Architects, a founding member of the HKQAA wine certification board, and a member of the Vision 2047 Think Tank.

On hearing he had been recognised by the drinks business Asia, the Crown Wine Cellars principal said: “I was just one of many passionate people who worked hard to turn HK into Asia’s premier wine trading capital.”

De’Eb was part of the founding group which campaigned for zero tax, was involved in Government liaison for the establishment of professional wine storage and logistics, the HKQAA wine storage and transport certification organisation, and has spearheaded integrated sustainability in the industry.

“Above all, it has been my long-term friendships within all those involved in wine that have been the overriding and most important sustaining influence,” he said of his ongoing influence in the Hong Kong wine trade.

Asia editor Eloise Feilden presented De’Eb with his award at an event in the drinks business offices in Hong Kong on 2 November, which welcomed more than 45 guests including TV host, international judge and co-chair of the drinks business Asia Masters Cecilia Wong and Vernon Moore, chairman emeritus of the Hong Kong Wine Society. The event was sponsored by Town House Hong Kong, ASC Fine Wines which supplied Champagne and still wines from Barons de Rothschild, and Metabev which supplied Vittel, Orion and Perrier sparkling water.

Wine veteran Greg De’Eb wins Asian Personality Award 2023 (thedrinksbusiness.com)