The Central Ordnance Munitions Depot was built in 1937 by the Royal British Engineers to serve as a secure military facility for ammunition and weapon storage in preparation for World War II.
Originally, it was composed of a small depot headquarters, a sentry box and 12 pairs of underground bunkers located approximately 20 meters below ground with one-meter-thick concrete walls and 12-meter-long entrance passages. After the British military ceased use of the depot in 1977, the site was used as the Police Driver Training Facility and subsequently used by the HK Geotechnical Department for Rock Core Storage. However, it gradually fell into disrepair and some components of it were demolished.
In 2002, Jim Thompson (Chairman, Crown Worldwide Group) and Gregory De ’Eb (A Career Diplomat)proposed to convert the unused but historically significant site into Asia’s first professional wine cellar forfine and rare wine collections, as well as a private clubhouse with a newly constructed conservatory. After the preservation, restoration, and adaptive reuse of the Depot with an innovative and creative business model of using the site for a wine cellar, the site reopened in 2004 and continues to successfully function today as Crown Wine Cellars. Crown Wine Cellars received a UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Award for Cultural Heritage Conservation Award of Merit in 2007 for the innovative adaptive reuse of the site. This site visitwill include a talk about the history of the site and “Little Hong Kong”, its use during WWII as well as a behind-the-scene visit to the wine cellars and clubhouse facilities that were adaptively reused from the former munitions storage facility.
Gregory served as a 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 located permanently to Hong Kong where he joined the Crown Worldwide Group to start, develop and oversee Crown Wine Cellars Ltd. CWC is located in a UNESCO recognised, former military facility in Shouson Hill.
He is involved in all aspects of the Hong Kong wine industry, as well as architectural heritage preservation, and wide-ranging charity, community and education-related projects. He serves on a number of 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.
Tour Start Time: 11:00 a.m
Lunch Start Time: 12:00 noon
Booking: Please email firstname.lastname@example.org in advance to reserve your place and pay at the door
This event is capped at 30 pax
Please inform us of any special dietary needs as you make your booking