The Newest Chinese Wine Impresario: NBA Star Yao Ming

Yao’s 2009 Cabernet Will Sell In China For 3,800 yuan (US$598)

A woman showcases a bottle of Yao Ming wine at an auction house this week (Image: CFP)

Yao’s first bottle of wine will go up for auction this weekend (Image: CFP)

His NBA career may have come to an end, but the Chinese basketball star Yao Ming isn’t taking retirement lightly. Currently a student at the Antai College of Economics and Management at Shanghai Jiaotong University, the 31-year-old Yao is now looking to take advantage of his country’s booming demand for imported wine. Recently, Yao established his own wine company in California’s Napa Valley, and hopes to become the newest Chinese wine impresario with his imprint, Yao Family Wines.

As an ambassador for the Special Olympics, this Sunday Yao Ming will appear at the Special Olympics 2011 Unity Fundraising Charity Gala in Shanghai. At a charity auction slated for the event, Yao will formally debut Yao Family Wines, with the first 1.5 liter bottle of Yao Ming 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon wine to go under the hammer with an opening bid price of 60,000 yuan (US$9,437).

Limited to a run of 1,200 bottles, the “Yao Ming” 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon will hit the market next week in China, priced at a hefty 3,800 yuan (US$598).



Market Analysis, Retail