China Overtook UK To Become Largest Bordeaux Export Market Last Year
From their fevered, global search for prized bottles of Chateau Lafite or Latour to their acquisition of cash-strapped chateaux in France, Chinese burgeoning wine lovers have shown a distinctive penchant for all things Bordeaux in recent years. Although per capita wine consumption in China remains incredibly low, averaging around 0.4 liters per year (compared to nearly 50 liters per year in France), surging demand has been a boon both for domestic Chinese producers at the lower end and international exporters at the high end. Though Chinese winemakers account for around 80 percent of the domestic market, wineries have encountered push-back from consumers above the low to mid-range price points, where foreign brands – particularly ”Old World” producers — dominate.
Last weekend, at the International Wine Fair in Bordeaux, France, China’s seemingly insatiable thirst for premium European wine was on full display, as was the enthusiasm for this fast-growing and maturing market among continental winemakers. However, as Reuters reports, some Chinese wineries are looking to get in on the game as well, working to establish a presence abroad.