Articles Tagged china

Going Pro: Asia, By Way Of Paso Robles (Or “Am I a Hypocrite If I Accept A Chinese Wine Junket?”)

Vinted on October 19, 2011 binned in going pro, on the road

This week finds me in

Paso Robles, courtesy of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance, presumably because you folks don’t get enough images of beautiful vineyard locations coupled with smarmy captions here on 1WineDude.com, so we need a trip to get you some more, you greedy little things!

I’ll be taking part in what they call a “Lifestyle Media Tour,” the aim of which is to get an “understanding of Paso Robles’ approach to sustainability, experiencing a true sense of place, seeing what the consumer may experience on a visit and meeting the personalities of the region.”  It’s unclear if those personalities include Bugs Bunny, but for some reason I woke up this morning wishing they did (maybe it was the Absinthe…). Oh, and I’ll be visiting (hopefully) more than a few producers of Paso wine, since the region is CA’s third-largest and by many counts its fastest-growing wine area.

Anyway, I’ll be “roughing it” once again in the hopes that the trip will net some interesting stuff to share with all of you (it would suck to take those 6AM flights out to the Left Coast for nuthin’!).

But I’m not here to talk about Paso today, folks.  I’m actually here to talk about China (Abrupt Transitions: 1, Joe: 0)

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China: The Next Big Thing In Wine and Continued Totalitarian Oppression

Vinted on September 1, 2010 binned in commentary

Asia, as most of you are already aware, is THE NEXT BIG THING in wine consumption.  China, of course, is the current big thing in Asia, which means that the Chinese market is THE NEXT BIG THING in wine consumption.  So big, it must be stated IN ALL CAPS!

This is not news – it’s all over the place in print and on-line.  Most of the talk of the Chinese market in the wine community is cloudy, amorphous, and short on understanding of the real scope of the potential dollars involved.  And the real scope is real, real BIG.

Here’s a recent quote from Wines-Info.com on Chinese wine consumption trends, to give you some perspective on what a bold, capitalized and italicized BIG represents:

The current situation in China is that domestic wine production doesn’t meet its market’s need, which has resulted in surge growth of imported wine. Statistics show that imported bottled wine to China has increased 2368% since 2002 to 2009. With bigger number of Chinese enterprises joining to wine importing business, more foreign vintners and wineries from France, Italy, Spain, Australia, U.S., Chile, Argentina, etc. also step into Chinese market, sharing the hope of wine bonanza in China.”

No, that’s not a typo. That’s an increase of over two thousand percent of wine coming in from other countries to fill the demand created by the emergence of a bona-fide middle class in the Chinese economy. In less than ten years. YOWZA.

My bruthah-from-anothah-muthah Jeff Lefevere over at the award-winning GoodGrape.com, recently highlighted some of the Chinese wine market numbers – and they’re similarly downright shocking:

It’s anybody’s guess how China will impact the domestic wine business, but we know that the existing auction market and Bordeaux futures are largely being driven by the Chinese. According to reports, US wine exports to Hong Kong totaled $49 million in 2009-2010.  And, it’s been said that the U.S. wants to be the number one exporter of wine to Hong Kong and mainland China.

That’s a fair chunk of change – and an impressive commitment by the U.S.  And one in which I think they should be deeply cautious, because our businesses are so busy looking at the dollar signs that they aren’t seeing the imprisonments, tortures, and executions that made those dollar signs so big…

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China and Wine: By the Numbers

Vinted on November 24, 2009 binned in commentary, wine buying, wine publications

The November 23, 2009 edition of the New Yorker contains a fascinating article by Evan Osnos titled “Letter From China – Reds: The creation of a wine-loving class.”

The article recounts a short period in the history of the A.S.C. Fine Wines company based in Beijing and run by two Canadians (a father-and-son team by the name of St. Pierre). Just as interesting as the trials and tribulations of the St. Pierre clan is the clear picture that Osnos’ article paints of fine wine consumption in China.

I’ll share some of those numbers with you in a moment, but before I do, let’s get the bottom line conclusion out of the way now: anyone who doesn’t think that China is not among the major players – if not the major player –  in the world fine wine market needs to have a belly-button window installed (think about it… you’ll get it).

In a less than 15 years, China’s upper-middle class has gone from a “let’s mix red wine with soda” drinking culture to a group of savvy if star-struck fine wine and dining folk right out of a hackneyed, First-Growth-worshipping Wine Spectator lifestyle piece.

Welcome to the new world of international wine…

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