Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between

Port of Oakland

Oakland wines headed to Hong Kong

By cburt

So it took a little digging, but I finally got the scoop on the Oakland wineries that provided bottles of wine for Oakland Mayor Jean Quan to take along on her trade mission to China.

She’s been handing out some bottles as gifts to dignitaries and business people, but the majority of the Oakland bottles will be uncorked for tasting Thursday at new California Vintage wine bar on Wyndham Street in Hong Kong. California Vintage is a business launched by a group of California wineries, including a couple from Alameda, but none from Oakland.

Quan is hoping that will change when she and Port of Oakland officials visit the business on the last day of the three-city trade mission to promote trade and business with China.

China is the largest client for U.S. agriculture, and the Port of Oakland handles about 90 percent of the California wine exports to China, which is a growing market for red wines. Quan said her group has been able to order California red wines in restaurants in Beijing, but there is fierce competition from Australia, Chile and France.

Wine is a growing business in Oakland too, where nine or so small urban wineries have sprouted in the past few years.  Of those, Urban Legend, JC Cellars, Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, May 10th, 2011
Under: Jean Quan, Port of Oakland, Uncategorized | No Comments »
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Jet lag

By cburt

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan was finally feeling the jet lag midday Monday after arriving Saturday in Beijing and embarking on a flurry of meetings with the Hainan Group and the American Chamber. But that didn’t stop her from finishing and posting her newsletter in the few hours of  “down time” she will likely enjoy on the jam-packed trade mission to China with City Council President Larry Reid, Port of Oakland Executive Director Omar Benjamin and other port officials.

Jean Quan and Larry Reid in Beijing

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and City Council President Larry Reid in Beijing, China. Photo courtesy of Jean Quan.

Quan is there to promote Oakland’s Port and city as a good place to do business. She’s talking to the Hainan Group about using Oakland as a hub to capitalize on the growing foreign tourism to Northern California.

Hainan Airlines is the Southwest of China, and the only five-star rated airline in the country. The parent company also owns hotels.

It’s clear that Chinese people are investing in the United States, Quan said, but she is “struck by the variety of investments” they are interested in.

As far as how people are responding to her as an elected representative of a major American city, she said it seems to have a special significance for older Chinese, who tell her how proud they are of her, Quan said in a call from Beijing Monday (late Sunday night, my time).

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Posted on Tuesday, May 10th, 2011
Under: Jean Quan, Oakland City Hall, Port of Oakland | No Comments »
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Mayor Quan hits the ground running in Beijing

By cburt

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan wasted no time reaching out to Chinese officials in Beijing when she landed there Saturday to embark on a three-city trade mission with Oakland City Council President Larry Reid, Port of Oakland Executive Director Omar Benjamin and other of the Port’s seaport and airport officials.

Quan met with the chairman of the HNA Group, which owns Hainan Airlines, hotels and other businesses. She wants to try and bring the airline to Oakland, and perhaps convince the company to build hotels and use Oakland as its hub for for foreign tourism to Northern California.

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Posted on Saturday, May 7th, 2011
Under: Jean Quan, Oakland City Hall, Port of Oakland, Uncategorized | No Comments »
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Oakland Mayor Jean Quan leads trade mission to China

By cburt

So Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and Council president Larry Reid jetted off to Beijing this a.m. on a whirlwind trade mission to China with Port of Oakland officials. They hope to drum up new business and expand partnerships with Chinese companies in Beijing, Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and Council President Larry Reid

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and Council President Larry Reid

The 12-member group includes Port executive director Omar Benjamin and other port maritime and airport officials. They’ll spend four days making stops in three cities: Beijing, Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

They’re saving the fun for last, when they visit a California wine bar and restaurant in Hong Kong to promote Oakland wineries.

A case of Oakland wine has been shipped ahead and will be served when the mayor and her entourage visit on Thursday.

Stay tuned for updates to find out what’s in the case! Hint: check out the East Bay Vintner’s Alliance.

Posted on Friday, May 6th, 2011
Under: Jean Quan, Oakland City Council, Oakland City Hall, Port of Oakland | No Comments »
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