China developing thirst for Spanish wine11th November, 2013 by Lucy Shaw
Chinese consumers are branching out beyond the confines of French wine and are developing an increasing thirst for wines from Spain.
As recently reported on db.com, exports of Spanish wine to China are up 40% year-on-year by volume, making Spain the third biggest wine exporter to China.
Value exports meanwhile are up by 43.8% to £30.5m with traditional method sparkling wine Cava showing impressive growth in Hong Kong bars and nightclubs.
“The Chinese are now searching for wines other than from France because they are more educated about wines from other countries,” Hong Kong wine expert Mabel Lai told AFP.
Price is also playing its part, with wines from Spain, Portugal, Italy and Australia offering lower price tags in China compared to French wine, with the top wines from Spain on sale for half the price of their French counterparts.
“Wines from Spain are getting bigger and we are travelling around the world and letting people know about them – the potential of the Chinese market is huge,” Carlos Moreno, export manager for Bodegas d. Mateos, told AFP.
Spain was the partner country at this year’s Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Fair, which took place last week attracting over 1,000 producers from around the world.
According to Vinexpo, Chinese wine consumption exploded from 2007 to 2011, growing by 142.1% to a total of 159.25 million cases.
While this growth rate is forecast to slow to 39.6% between 2012 and 2016, 252 million cases of wine are expected to be drunk in the Chinese market in 2016.
Vinexpo also predicts that by 2016, China will be the world’s sixth largest producer of wine and the second largest consumer of wine in terms of value sales, overtaking France and the UK to stand behind the USA, with sales of US$16.7bn.
An in-depth look at the Spanish wine market will appear in the December issue of the drinks business.