China Wine News Roundup: August 11, 2010

    A roundup of recent stories from the Chinese wine market: Mount Pleasant Winery, Vereinte Winzer, Jacob's Creek, Northwest American wines
    Jing DailyAuthor
      Published   in Finance

    A Roundup Of Recent Stories From The China Wine Market#

    Mount Pleasant, One Of America's Oldest Wineries, Begins Exporting To China (Benzinga)#

    The winery recently sent their first shipment, consisting of 900 cases of Vidal Chardonnay, Pink Catawba, Claret, Villagio, Rhineland, Vintage Port and Norton. The shipment is valued at $190,000.

    Mount Pleasant worked with Excengin Worldwide and its partners to facilitate the deal with Chinese importer Jinxing International Company Ltd. Mount Pleasant’s wines are being shipped to the port city of Shenzhen. From there, the bottles will be sent to stores and restaurants in cities throughout China, including Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu.

    Chuck Dressel, president of Mount Pleasant, presented wines at the 2010 SIAL show in Shanghai in May. SIAL China is the largest food, beverage and hospitality show in Mainland China.

    “The contacts I made in China loved the Norton grape,” said Dressel. “They were impressed by how it was uniquely American and, of course, its bold and rich flavors of berries and oak.”

    Austrian Winemaker Vereinte Winzer Focuses On Brand Building In China Market (Wine China [Article in Chinese])#

    Vereinte Winzer entered the China market four years ago, specializing in the high-end market, and adopted a members' club model and offered bulk buying, which has led to impressive business in the domestic Chinese wine market. The vineyard has gradually seen its brand take root as its wines have become favored by wealthy wine aficionados.

    In terms of sales, Vereinte Winzer has not entered the hotel or corporate markets, but rather focuses more on membership and group sales. To promote this, the winemaker uses the Internet, magazines and other media to organize activities at its vineyards and make consumers increasingly familiar with the brand and increase membership.

    In order to instill more confidence among consumers in the China market, Vereinte Winzer imprints each bottle label with an Austrian identification number and affixes a red-and-white strip noting quality control and quality assurance information to the mouth of the bottle.

    Australia's Barossa Valley Developing Wine Tailor-Made For China (AFP)#

    Almost 600 staff from global beverages giant Pernod Ricard were in South Australia's Barossa Valley for a crash course in wine appreciation, with "sensory lab" sessions and tasting classes to equip them as connoisseurs.

    They are preparing for the launch of what is believed to be Australia's first-ever wine range specifically developed for sale and consumption in China, the Jacob's Creek "Winemaker's Selection".

    Pernod Ricard China's managing director Con Constandis, in charge of the Jacob's Creek distribution, said wine was a booming industry, with the burgeoning middle class developing a taste for premium imported brands.

    "Affluence, aspiration are some of the things that come to mind," Constandis said. "Twenty years ago 20 percent of the population was urban, 80 percent was rural, now it's a 50/50 split between the two."

    "They're using it to make a statement about themselves," he added.


    Northwest American wines seek Chinese market

    According to American press, Washington and Oregon are hoping for a taste of growing China wine market. As they believe “only a trickle of Northwest wines” make it to China, where the booming economy inspires greatly the demand for imported wines.

    Last year Washington exported about $9.7 million in wine, but just $721,000 to Hong Kong and $414,000 to China, according to figures from Global Trade Information Services Inc. cited by the state Agriculture Department. Exports to Hong Kong jumped 529 percent, however.

    Figures for Oregon are sketchier, but the USDA says in 2009 the state exported 1,355 cases to Asia outside of Japan and South Korea. That's minuscule compared with the 1.6 million cases its wineries shipped in the U.S.

    Hong Kong is now the fourth-largest export market for U.S. wines behind Canada, the European Union and Japan, and it's a major re-exporter to the Chinese mainland and other points.

    The value of American wine imports into Hong Kong jumped 138 percent to $40 million. Most of that vino came from California, which accounts for about 90 percent of the nation's total wine exports.

    Washington's larger wineries have long cultivated customers in China and Hong Kong, and smaller exporters are seeking a foothold. Earlier this year, a delegation from Washington and Oregon signed a deal to promote wines in Hong Kong, their first trade agreement with that city.
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