While the wine industry in China has been booming for years now, the industry is far from the simple gold mine that it seemed to be in the past. Those who have lived in China for some time will remember the ‘grape rush’ circa 2010, as many a Frenchman came to cities such as Shanghai, quickly opening up a wine importing / retail company, before just as quickly shutting it down as Chinese consumers were able to buy any grape under the Sun from Tmall and China’s other m-commerce giants.
A decade ago, a bottle of wine was a mere box on the checklist of middle-class aspiration – a token alongside cheese, coffee and golf – while nowadays there has been a shift to genuine enjoyment, knowledge and dare we say oenophilia (while a checklist photo of the wine glasses ‘cheers’ is still a common WeChat sight come Friday evening). Domestic vineyards are proving so bountiful that Chinese wine tourism is set to becomine a thing. Counterfeiting is finally being tackled. Trade organisations are allegedly throwing huge amounts of money at borderline unknown Chinese ‘KOLs’ to live-stream themselves drinking particular wines.
China’s cup poureth over in terms of demand, with the country set to become the world’s second biggest wine market overall by 2020, and is in fact already leading in the top-end segment, as is revealed below. But what is the state of this unique marketplace? In terms of reaching the Chinese wine drinker whether you’re a national wine group, a label, importer or restaurant/bar, what’s happening in 2018 and what should you know about the ‘grape wall of China’? Continue reading “Wine in China: A Fruitful Opportunity If You Can Hit the High Notes”