China – the First Market for Bordeaux Wines

Jan 04, 2011 No Comments by

Jean-Pierre Rousseau, Managing Director of “Diva”, a Bordeaux negociant in Bordeaux says « During the last 6 months, wine exportations and especially exportations of premium wines to Hong Kong and China have increased dramatically.” Lauren Dufau, Director of Ballande & Méneret, another negociant in Bordeaux adds “More than 50% of our business is done in Asia, Hong Kong representing the biggest share ever reached for an export market.”

In 2010, the Chinese market has overlapped any other market as never before in the recent history. This trend started only 3 or 4 years ago has stepped up in 2010 and 2011 should follow the same evolution.

In one year, from November 2009 to October 2010, China and Hong Kong together have imported together more than 251 000 hectoliters of wine from Bordeaux for a total of €333 million. Germany, Belgium and the UK, which used to be the main markets for Bordeaux wines have been overlapped by China and Hong Kong in volume. And the US and the UK have also been overlapped in value.

2/3 of Bordeaux wines are still sold in France though. Only 1/3 of Bordeaux wines are exported, and this year exportations are pulled by the Asian demand.

Even if Bordeaux wines are especially appreciated in China, other wine regions are also following the same trend. Actually, China is opening to wine and western culture together with the development and opening of the country.

Since the government suppressed taxes for wine import in Hong Kong, the consumption of wine in the whole region has increased.

One of the challenge for Bordeaux wines is counterfeiting. The recent scandal of counterfeiting wines in China shows how strong this phenomenon is in Mainland China. “Our job is to defend the brand image of Bordeaux. China does buy low and middle-end Bordeaux wines together with Grands Crus and we have to make clear that they are different products” says Pascal Loridon, Marketing Director of the Agency for promoting Bordeaux wines.

Translated from french by Ari for Zhongguo Wine

News, Wine Marketing in China

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