China may consume the world’s largest amount of red wine, but Chinese investors see the drink as far more than just a status-boosting beverage. Chinese buyers of high-end bottles of Bordeaux and Burgundy at auction often aren’t just planning to guzzle down their new five-figure-priced bottles, but see them as a valuable hard asset. Furthermore, investments in and acquisitions of vineyards from France to Chile serve as a way to see big benefits from the massive Chinese consumer market.
A new article at wine site Grape Collective takes an in-depth look at the history of Chinese wine investment, which started taking off in 2005 and helped to keep the fine wine market “afloat” after the financial crisis in 2008. The piece discusses the ups and downs the market has taken as Chinese taste evolves—what started as a focus mainly on traditional markets like Bordeaux for both bottles and vineyards has transformed into an interest in “second grove regions” like Australia, Napa Valley, and South Africa as both investors and consumers develop diverse tastes.
The video above features Grape Collective’s interview with the owner of Gemtree, one Australian vineyard that has seen a major boost from Chinese investment. “It’s an amazing opportunity in a country that is essentially embryonic in their understanding of wine,” he says.