China warms to white wine

Atlas Wine Group - Tuesday, March 20, 2012
China is developing a growing thirst for white wine, according to Vinexpo.

Red wines still make up 91% of total wine consumption in China, but white wine drinking rose 19% last year, with 70% further growth expected by 2015.

Last week, the global wine and spirits exhibition group spelt out its views in Shanghai of the fast-developing Chinese wine market.

Dominique Heriard Dubreuil, chairman of both Vinexpo and Rémy Cointreau, said China’s developing taste for white wine presents an educational challenge to vintners worldwide.

“In general, Chinese people don’t like to drink something cold, but white wine is not at its best when warm,” she said.

According to research commissioned by Vinexpo, last year China overtook Britain as the fifth largest wine market by volume, behind the US, Italy, France and Germany.

Consumption of wine on the mainland and Hong Kong rose by 21.5%.

Within three years, greater China will spend more money on still wines than the UK, and become the world’s second biggest wine consumer by value, after the US.

Vinexpo expects China to consume over a billion more bottles annually between now and 2015 – a further 54% increase.

China is also on track to become the world’s biggest Cognac market by 2016, Vinexpo said, forecasting 47% growth between 2011-2015.

China is already Cognac’s second largest market, after France. But recently Chinese buyers have complained of having trouble finding the extra-premium spirits they prefer.

“In China, people want very old Cognacs, but global inventories of are not extensive,” said Dubreuil.

Source: Lucy Shaw The Drinks Business

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