Posts Tagged ‘China’

Drinking for pleasure...

Drinking for pleasure…

 
As the Chinese economy slows, new figures confirm that Chinese consumers are seeking out less expensive wine brands.

 
Analysts Wine Intelligence found that in the first quarter of this year, 60% of consumers between the ages of 18 and 50 spent less than CNY200 (€25) on imported wine.

€25 is generally recognised as entry-level wine in China. An earlier survey in January this year had found that fear of buying a fake wine was the biggest barrier to entry for imported wines, with 44% of respondents saying it put them off buying.

‘There is a growing trend for drinking wine for pleasure rather than serving it at banquets or giving it as gifts,’ Maria Troein, China manager for Wine Intelligence told China Daily.
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Chateau Hansen's vineyards near the Gobi desert.

Chateau Hansen’s vineyards near the Gobi desert.

Chinese winery Chateau Hansen, based on the edge of the Gobi Desert, is set to sell a new icon wine for €500 a bottle in its home market.

 

Hansen, based in Wuhai, Inner Mongolia, is poised to release the new wine, a single varietal Cabernet Sauvignon called Red Camel, this summer.

Up to 10,000 bottles of Red Camel will be produced, sourced from a single parcel of vines in organic vineyards in the neighbouring region of Ningxia.

The grapes are harvested in two waves: the first batch, making up about two-thirds of the blend, when the grapes reach about 12% alcohol; and the second very late, when the vines are bare and the grapes are beginning to shrivel.

 
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Yes, it’s true. Two of China’s wines have won silver in this year’s Decanter World Wine Awards, Jing Daily reports.

The wines are the Great Wall Terrior 2006 from Shandong and Domaine Helan Mountain Special Reserve Chardonnay 2011 from Ningxia.

A total of 20 wines from China were recognized this year by Decanter out of a total 49 entries.

In 2011, Helan Qing Xue’s Jia Bei Lan Cabernet Dry Red 2009 received the top prize from Decanter, drawing much skepticism and controversy.

While China does not have a great reputation for its wine (real or otherwise), there are domestic vineyards producing quality wines.

 

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South African wine exports to reach now high in 2013.

South African wine exports to reach now high in 2013.

 

South African wine exports are poised to beat their 2012 record this year following high yields and on demand for premium vintages from North America and Asia, industry executives and growers said.

Wine exports rose to 469 million liters (124 million U.S. gallons) in the year ending April 30, up 25 percent from the previous 12 months and more than triple the total shipped in 2000, data from the Wines of South Africa trade body, or WOSA, show. Bulk shipments rose 53 percent while those of bottled and packaged wines fell 5 percent, as large producers bottled more in export markets.

Although wine has been grown in South Africa since Dutch settlers arrived in the 17th century, the country was cut off from trade during the apartheid era of racial discrimination, which ended in 1994 with the first all-race elections. Two decades on, exporters are seeking to consolidate in established markets such as the U.K. and Germany while boosting sales in Asia and Africa.

“If you think about South Africa’s history, we’ve been making wine for 350 years but it’s only really since 1994 that we’ve actively pursued the export market, that we’ve been welcome and accepted,” Johan Erasmus, general manager of the Glen Carlou winery in the Paarl Valley north east of Cape Town, said at a London tasting in March. “We are much more in touch with consumers worldwide.”

A wet winter meant plenty of underground water, helping to boost yields in 2013, according to Su Birch, Chief Executive Officer at WOSA. Yields at the 2012 harvest rose to 14.13 metric tons per hectare (2.471 acres), the highest for at least six years, and probably climbed to about 14.90 tons this year, according to estimates based on preliminary data from WOSA.

 

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Ripe for the picking.

Ripe for the picking.

 

Australian wineries are proving popular with Chinese buyers keen to ensure their supply of wine.

 
WINE PRODUCERS in every corner of the globe have set their sights on China’s vast and increasingly wine-friendly population, but nowhere more so than in Australia.

Australian wineries see themselves as particularly well placed to service the growing Chinese interest in wine; partly because Australia is an English-speaking country that’s geographically within easy reach of the Asian continent, and partly because their softer, rounder styles of wine seem to be suited to the Chinese palate.

However, it’s been well publicised that Australian wineries have been through some challenging times in recent years. With tough market conditions, excess production and falling grape prices, numerous small businesses have been hitting the wall. In many ways, it’s an investor’s dream.

Some Australian wineries have launched an attack, opening export offices and even cellar doors in major Chinese cities. However in recent months the tide has been turning, and the Chinese have been travelling to Australia to ensure their supply of wine in the best possible way: buying wineries.

At any given time, it’s difficult to pinpoint the precise number of Australian wineries that are in negotiations to sell to a Chinese buyer.

In some cases it’s simply that some level of financial backing has been taken on board, but rumours of takeover bids and potential new ownership swirl around companies large and small in every wine region in the country. Many of the buyers approaching Australia already control routes to market in their homeland.

 

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Chinese wine industry could endanger Panda's habitat.

Chinese wine industry could endanger Panda’s habitat.

The habitats of endangered giant pandas are being threatened by planned vineyard plantings in the Chinese provinces of Shaanxi and Sichuan.
According to the South China Morning Post, authorities in Shaanxi plan to plant 18,000 hectares of vineyards, and similar schemes are in the pipeline for Sichuan, putting the 1,600 wild giant pandas that inhabit the provinces at risk.

While the Chinese government has set up reserves for giant pandas, the animals don’t always remain inside them.

“Vineyards around a panda reserve can definitely affect the animals.

“Pandas move outside of reserves, so the forest outside is an important habitat. If forest is cleared to plant grapes, there may be direct loss of panda habitat,” climate change specialist Dr. Lee Hannah said in a study of the impacts of climate change on wine production and conservation.
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What do Chinese wine consumers really think?

 

Wine Intelligence China Team shares five key challenges they faced in their latest projects in China at a recent MRS event

Distilling 4 years of experience working in China into a 40 minute lecture was never going to be easy. Yet this was the challenge set us by the UK Market Research Society (MRS) a couple of weeks ago, when they invited us to address our fellow market research professionals in a session entitled “In Vino Veritas? The challenges of finding out what the Chinese really think about wine”.

After a healthy debate among the Wine Intelligence China market team, we settled on five key challenges that we have faced in recent projects. Here they are:

1. The real China is a complex cultural mosaic
The extent to which Chinese people are different from each other is tough to grasp from an occidental perspective – at least at first. The complexity of the country in terms of its cuisines, languages, climates, economic layers, culture, and lifestyle becomes apparent with time spent in the country, and away from the Tier 1 cities. Hangzhou is not like Harbin, which is very different from Chengdu. So which is the real China? It’s a bit like flying from Bremen to Barcelona, and having to decide, between those two cities, which represents the real Europe – a decision both impossible and pointless.

 
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Wines in China.

Wines in China.

 

Any business with international aspirations will have China in its sights. Consumption of imported wines and spirits is increasing rapidly, particularly in relation to high end products, which are seen as reflecting power and sophistication upon their consumers, or those giving such items as present. The current opportunities for Western brands seem limitless.

However, even if you have dealt with all the bureaucracy and red tape and sorted out your importation and distribution channels with reliable local partners there can still be unforeseen problems. We have recently seen several cases where clients have found that completely unconnected Chinese third parties have registered clients’ trade marks in China, leading to the bizarre situation where any use by clients of their own trade marks in China could infringe those third party rights.

There is no doubt that China is slowly improving its protection for international brands. However in these sorts of cases it is extremely difficult for the genuine brand owner to reclaim its mark, other than through buying it off the owner of the registered mark.

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Moët Hennessy's first winery in China

Moët Hennessy’s first winery in China

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Moet Hennessy has declined to comment on reports suggesting its new winery in China is set to open by June.

The new US$5.5m winery in the Ningxia Hui region of north-west China will see its first wines hitting shelves next year, according to a report on the website Asia Travel Tips. Premium sparking wines will be produced under the company’s Chandon brand name.

The 6,300 sqm facility will feature a fully operational winery, fermentation cellars, tasting rooms and luxury visitor centre,

When contacted by just-drinks today (15 January), however, a Moet Hennessy spokesperson declined to comment on the report.
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