Posts Tagged ‘China’

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Asian drinkers keep Bordeaux out of the red.

 

Bordeaux wine sales continue to rise, stimulated by a thirsty export market that is in contrast to falling French consumption of the region’s wines.

Bordeaux recorded a 2 percent increase in volume sales and a 10 percent growth in value in the year ending July 2012, according to figures released by the regional trade association, the CIVB, on Monday.

The region has defied the economic downturn, shipping 5.5m hectoliters of wine worth 4.3 billion euros ($5.6bn) in the last year.

While “the current and future economic situation remains difficult, the figures for 2012 can be considered satisfactory,” said Georges Haushalter, president of the CIVB.

The upward curve is largely thanks to massive sales growth in the Far East. “One bottle in four is exported to China and Hong Kong,” said Haushalter. “It is an extraordinary development. We have multiplied export volumes [to this market] 100 times in the space of 10 years,”

The Asian market has also evolved during this period, explained… read on

 

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Latest ProWein survey covers five Asian markets.

A new survey commissioned by ProWein, the German trade fair company, has revealed that “in-country representation is key to success” for wine producers trying to capture Asian markets.

Research carried out for ProWein by UK-based Wine Intelligence also found that the five markets it surveyed – China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan – “differ substantially.” The study concludes that it would be a mistake for the wine industry to think of Asia as a single cultural bloc.

It does concede, however, that there are some common trends and characteristics. Across Asia, wine is shaking off its image of being a purely luxury product and becoming more attractive to young consumers, who show “a real interest in understanding it better.”

On the question of local representation, Wine Intelligence suggests that having people on the ground is imperative.

“The wine producers who achieve the biggest success will be the ones who not only get to grips with these trends, but actually take the trouble to establish a physical presence in their target markets,” says Richard Halstead, chief operating officer at Wine Intelligence.

He adds: “It’s not possible to conquer China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan from an office outside those countries.”

Read on …

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Results from the latest auction suggest Asian collectors could soon be heading south of Burgundy.

 

Cheers to Burgundy, hello to the Rhone.

Cheers to Burgundy, hello to the Rhone.

 

There are signs that the fine wines of the Rhône Valley are beginning to garner interest from Asian buyers, following the buoyant sale results of Paul Jaboulet Aîné’s wines at Sotheby’s over the weekend.

The December 8 auction in Hong Kong suggests fine-wine collectors in Asia are prepared to look beyond Bordeaux and Burgundy. All of the lots, which came direct from the producer’s cellar, were sold, with the 1961 Hermitage La Chapelle fetching 171,500 Hong Kong dollars ($21,987) per bottle – 165 percent higher than the auction house’s estimate.

The sale of the Jaboulet Aîné wines, ranging from 1949 to 2009,… read on

Fine wine and Champagne houses should not lose sight of what the west can offer as they scramble to serve wealthy drinkers in Asia, says Olivier Krug.

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While Krug Champagne sales in Hong Kong now almost equal those in the UK, Olivier Krug is just as excited about opportunities closer to home.

‘What’s amazing is also what’s happening in traditional markets,’ said the sixth-generation family member and director of Champagne Krug, who spoke to Decanter.com at the press dinner for the Krug Institute of Happiness pop-up restaurant in London.

‘Take the London on-trade, it’s one of the most exciting on-trade markets in the world.’

Krug was also keen to stress that ID codes now appearing on bottles of Grande Cuvée are about more than simply publishing the date of disgorgement – the removal of… read on

The History of Chinese Wine.

The History of Chinese Wine.

 

I’ve been reading quite a bit about China recently and not only because they’re the second largest economy in the world (and growing very fast) or because some of the unscrupulous amongst them make really large volumes of really bad quality stuff with which they flood the markets of, especially but not only, developing countries. Thing is, not everybody is unscrupulous and not all Chinese are cruel triad-like taskmasters! I would be devastated if my Chinese deli disappeared and it makes my blood boil when I meet people who seem to think that Chinese
food consists only of sweet-n-sour pork, sticky rice or stir-fried noodles. Good Lord, the Chinese were hosting banquets before we even thought of sharing meals and to belittle an entire culture just because a fanatic and his friends stole just over 50 years of their lives is insanity. The reason most of us haven’t tasted or seen upmarket Chinese products is precisely because the Chinese nation is so huge! They simply don’t make enough to export. Yet. They also produce wine (and are currently the fourth largest producer in the world) and even though, at this stage, it doesn’t really compare to the wines of the west (in fact, the tasting I had was pretty darn awful), I’m sure that they will, given time, get there.  In fact, experts seem to think that China can become the next Chile within the next decade! Before I go on (and to prove my point about Chinese food), here’s a recipe for some really good kebabs from the province of Xinjiang where the Uighur people have lived for centuries; the food, like their language has a Turkic touch.
Read on…

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As he hands over the reins of the country’s top wine importer, Don St. Pierre says China is maturing and evolving

 

When Don St. Pierre Jr. announced in October that he had stepped aside as CEO of ASC Fine Wines, the company he cofounded with his father in 1996, it surprised many in the business. An American ex-pat, St. Pierre has been a trailblazer in building the fine wine trade in China. As one prominent Bordeaux négociant noted, “where ASC goes, we go.”

But in a lengthy interview with Wine Spectator, St. Pierre said the time had come for him to focus on long-term ideas and leave managing what has become a big business to an expert. ASC appointed John Watkins, an American executive who cut his teeth on Northwest Airlines’ expansion into China in the 1980s, as his successor.

A couple years ago, ASC began a big shift, moving beyond China’s saturated first-tier cities into second-tier cities, opening 26 offices and a distribution network to 150 cities. Staffing shot up from 400 to 1,200. “The challenges China presents moving forward are really unbelievable. We’re just beginning to see Chinese consumers develop their own tastes and interest in wine and see wine as part of their life as opposed to drinking wine because of a business occasion,” St. Pierre told Wine Spectator. “We’re always trying to stay ahead. Hiring John is about staying ahead.”

When St. Pierre and his father opened their doors in 1996, they represented just three brands—Beringer, Petaluma and Bollinger. To import their first container of wine, they formed a joint venture, but had a falling out that left them dry. “They actually hijacked our first container, so we didn’t even have wine for our first launch party,” said St. Pierre.

Today ASC has an annual turnover of $200 million, Suntory owns an 80 percent stake, and the company is poised for more expansion. The challenges ahead are both common to family-led companies and unique to China. “One challenge I’ve seen across four different industries in China is to… read on

 Eritrea.

Eritrea.

All sorts of markets are appearing today that, 20 years ago or less, were barely given a second thought.

China, Brazil and Russia take most of the sexy headlines when it comes to growth at the moment.

Some are less well known but equally important, Belgium, Germany, Australia, Nigeria and Mexico for example.

They are strong, up and coming markets showing stable, if sometimes rapid, growth.

Figures from the CIVC for 2011 show that over the course of last year, China grew by 19% to over 1.3 million bottles, Australia by 31% to 4.8m bottles and Singapore by 20% to 1.4m bottles.

However, from small bases some truly fantastic figures can be achieved as the sudden influx of even 100 bottles boosts a country’s figures dramatically.
Read on …

The Chinese cheese and wine boom.

The Chinese cheese and wine boom.

 

Optimistic Cheese Producers See China As Golden Opportunity

 

Following the broader trends in luxury retail, the Chinese palate has increasingly become open to more Western flavors including French wine and spirits, and more recently, imported cheeses. After all, what pairs better with fragrant French wine than a wedge of pungent imported cheese? Not too long ago, such a pairing would have been unfamiliar to all but the wealthiest or most well-traveled Beijing or Shanghai resident. However, as imported wine demand in China has continued to rise — the country imported 200 million liters of wine in the first six months of 2012 – and the foreign cheese market grows more optimistic with every bite, the two industries may be facing two very different futures.

As China Daily reported this week, a growing appetite for… read on

Social media and online purchasing is significantly influencing wine sales in mainland China, and to a lesser degree in Hong Kong, reports Stephen Quinn.

 

As the wine business matures, its China and Hong Kong players are embracing social media to sell to an increasingly sophisticated audience.

Thomas Jullien, Asia representative for the Bordeaux Wine Council says: “We are seeing a boom in social networking in China.” He adopted a web 2.0 focus last year because of the ability to measure results in a more powerful way than with traditional advertising.

Facebook and Twitter are banned in mainland China, but the country has its local equivalents: Renren and Sina Weibo, respectively.

Jullien set up a Sina Weibo account in the middle of 2011. In six months it had gathered 40,000 followers. “It is a direct channel to talk to people about Bordeaux wine,” he says.

Every year, the Bordeaux Wine Council runs seminars in at least 20 Chinese cities for people in the trade. Jullien uses Sina Weibo to publicise these events: “At the seminars we always check where people found out about them. A very high proportion found out through someone ‘re-tweeting’ Sina Weibo. It is so useful to be able to measure feedback by monitoring social networks.”

According to Jullien, Bordeaux sales in China have doubled every year for the past six years. He attributes recent sales success to engaging with people curious about wine.

WINE’S OWN NETWORKS

David Pedrol is Shanghai and Hong Kong product director for yesmywine.com, the most successful online platform on the mainland with more than 5.2 million members, which sells 15,000 bottles daily.

When people buy wine they see how many bottles have already been sold of that wine. For example, as of mid-June the company has sold 121,066 bottles of La Bastide Laurent red. The internet accounts for 70% of all wine sold in China, according to Pedrol. His is also the only company in China with its own wine-focused social network: i-Cellar. However like the Bordeaux Wine Council, it uses the big Chinese social networks.

Sina Weibo has about 300 million registered users, Renren roughly 100 million users, though accurate data, crucially on the number of active users, can be difficult to extrapolate.

Read on …