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China’s thirst for Australian wine continues to grow

China’s thirst for Australian wine continues to grow article image

Australian wine exports to mainland China are now valued at $397 million, making China Australia's second most valuable market behind the UK.

And China’s thirst for our wines shows no sign of waning.

Wine Australia recently hosted a China Roadshow with more than 1500 guests attending.

The roadshow builds on the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) and a 64 per cent rise in Australian wine exports to mainland China over the last 12 months.

Roadshow exhibitors visited four key cities in a bid to create new commercial opportunities for growth and to build on important trade relationships.

The roadshow followed the well-received Australia Week in China trade mission last month.

More than 300 Australian wines from 70 brands and across 30 wine regions were showcased during the roadshow. This included the Yarra Valley, Rutherglen, King Valley, Mornington Peninsula, Nagambie Lakes, Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale, Coonawarra, Adelaide Hills, Margaret River, Great Southern, Hunter Valley and Tasmania.

The roadshow visited Shanghai, Xiamen, Changsha and Qingdao targeting buyers, on-premise trade, wine media and educators.

Positive feedback

An exclusive trade buyer tasting and a grand tasting were organised in each city and there was overwhelmingly positive feedback on the quality and diversity of the Australian fine wines on show.

Leading consultant Andrew Caillard, a Master of Wine, conducted a master class discussing the history and evolution of Australian wine.

The roadshow also included a media dinner in Shanghai to help sell the premium Brand Australia message.

Rui Liao, a journalist from Wine in China, said: “Andrew Caillard’s master class gave us a very clear picture of the history and development of Australian wine. It took me on a virtual trip to Australia with the flagship and iconic wines we tasted.

“During the roadshow, I tasted not only established Australian wine brands that already have a very good reputation in China, but also lesser-known, boutique brands of equally high quality that broadened my perception of Australia.”

Diversified styles

Ned Zhang, A+ Australian Wine School educator from the Asia Wine Service and Education Centre, who attended the Roadshow events in Shanghai and Xiamen, was impressed by the local support for the Roadshow tastings.

The Roadshow showcased the diversified styles of Australian wine across different regions, he said.

Many exhibitors have already uncovered promising commercial leads since returning.

“I've met many buyers who have expressed a strong interest in purchasing our wines,” said Tang Yi, brand representative at Brown Brothers.

Willa Yang, Head of Market, China, said: “This is our sixth China Roadshow and it's remarkable to see the growth of this market for Australian wine exports in that time.

“I appreciate the efforts of every Australian winery and their in-market partners who have participated in this important marketing activity. Our collaborative efforts over the last six years have helped Chinese trade and consumers discover the diversity and dynamic culture of Australian wine.”

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