Asian wine boom forecast for Britain

With demand and supply growing, Asian wines are set to experience a boom in the UK market, according to sales manager for Thailand’s Siam Winery, Neil McIlwee.

Siam Winery’s Monsoon Valley Cuvée de Siam. This is the producer’s top wine, but it’s not exported to the UK

During a tasting in the UK of the company’s Monsoon Valley brand, McIlwee told the drinks business, “I know there is going to an explosion in Asian wines very soon with the amount coming over from India, China and Japan.”

Continuing he stressed the growing interest from the supermarket sector, and admitted, “Marks & Spencer has asked to see our wines,” before reminding db, “And Waitrose has already taken on a wine from China.”

Holding back Asian sales in the UK at the moment is a lack of awareness that countries such as Japan, Thailand and China produce wine, he said.

In terms of Thailand’s wine industry specifically, he explained, “There’s a perception we can’t produce wine because of the climate – that it’s too humid – but we are based in the south west of the country where it’s mountainous and cool in the evenings, and we have to use drip irrigation.”

Speaking about the current wine offer in retailers in the UK he lamented, “People claim they have wines from around the world but when you ask them if they have anything from Asia they say ‘no’.”

As for a general descriptor for Asian wines, he said they should not be regarded as either New or Old World, but “New Latitude” wines.

Siam’s winemaker Kathrin Puff

McIlwee has been selling the Monsoon Valley brand of Thai wines in the UK for eight years and the British market is the largest for the winery, although it exports to 20 countries, including the US and Germany.

It’s not surprising to learn that the primary market for Monsoon Valley in the UK is the Thai restaurant sector, and a surge in the number of outlets has driven an increase in Siam’s sales.

However, he is attempting to broaden distribution of Monsoon Valley into other styles of eateries, and mentioned a European restaurant called Cotto in Cambridge, which has recently taken on the wines.

Currently Monsoon Valley sell a range of eight wines in the UK, including a Colombard and Shiraz varietal wines, as well as a lower alcohol white from Chenin Blanc.

McIlwee said that the latter wine, at 9.5% abv, has just 23 calories per glass.

He also mentioned the existence of a vintage, traditional method sparkling wine made by the winery but not exported to the UK yet.

It retails for the equivalent of around £50 in Thailand and uses Chenin Blanc, Colombard and Viognier.

The producer also makes a Sangiovese and Tempranillo, and is presently trialling a Sauvignon Blanc, which will be Thailand’s first wine from this grape should it prove successful, according to McIlwee.

As previously reported by db, Siam Winery has a German winemaker called Kathrin Puff (pictured, right) who took up a post at the Thai operation over four years ago.

2 Responses to “Asian wine boom forecast for Britain”

  1. Roussy says:

    Chinese wine is a blend of relatively poor chinese grapes and imported cheap wine from the rest of the world. Finally chinese wine is a blend of world wines.
    As for the rest ( India, Thailand) it would be interesting to do a tasting within the same price range ( ex cellar)

  2. ocean waves says:

    Dear all
    always we looking to be best in liquors marketing

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Marketing Executive

Harviestoun Brewery
London, UK

Digital Sales & Marketing Executive

Roberson Wine
London, UK

Brand Marketing Manager

Maverick Drinks
London, UK

PR and Communications Manager

Maverick Drinks
London, UK

Various Sales Roles

Amathus Drinks Plc
Bristol, Cardiff, Cornwall, Devon, Leeds and Birmingham

Assistant Buyer

Liberty Wines
London, UK

Partner Development Manager

Maverick Drinks
Tunbridge Wells, UK

Partner Manager - Wholesale

Maverick Drinks
Tunbridge Wells, UK

(Junior) Account Executive

Phipps Relations
London, UK

The City Wine & Spirits Show

London,United Kingdom
12th Oct 2018
Click to view more

The Global Malbec Masters 2017

the drinks business is proud to announce the inaugural Global Malbec Masters 2017

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

the drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Sparkling Masters.

Click to view more