Wine Superpower?


There’s no question that all things China-related are big news these days — I notice it more and more each day, particularly in the political realm, with the mounting speculation that it’s poised to become the next superpower.
So I suppose that it should come as little surprise that the same kind of idea is also becoming increasingly pervasive at the micro level, including the global wine industry. I’ve noticed China is, in various wine circles, more a topic of discussion than ever before, both as a consumer and producer to watch. I mentioned Great Wall Wine a few weeks ago, when I discovered that President Obama was treated to China’s best-known brand during his Asia trip.

And a couple of articles I’ve just read seem to confirm China’s growing importance in the industry. Take for example, a piece from Tasmania’s top news publication The Mercury, ‘Tassie tipple set for Asia,‘ which reported last month that the Australian state’s wine ‘invasion of Asia,’ had officially begun, with seven of its winemakers now exporting their offerings to Hong Kong. One of the Tasmanian winemakers even claimed that while only months prior he would have never even considered China to be a potential market for his product, after some recent dealings with Hong Kong, he now knows, ‘China is where we’ll focus next.’

Another Australia-based industry publication, Winebiz, also points to the same upward trend of China as a primary importer of world wine (‘China’s light shines on Aussie export radar’).It reports that just this summer, Australian wine exports to China grew by a ‘staggering’ 84 percent over a 1 month span, making it highly likely that the Asian region will become a top market priority for the Australian wine industry.
I’m sure this type of dialogue will only continue to increase with time. At this point, though, China looks like it’s likely to become more of an major importer than an exporter – I’ve yet to see a bottle of Great Wall on the shelves of my local liquor shop.

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