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Food driving sales of Italian wine in China

The Chinese love of Italian food is driving sales of Italian wine in Asia, according to Castello Banfi co-CEO Cristina Mariani-May.

Speaking at a Banfi dinner in London last night, Mariani-May told the drinks business: “Italian is the number one international cuisine in China, ahead of French and Spanish.

“The interest in Italian food is helping to create a buzz around Italian wine and increasing sales.”

The Montalcino-based producer is keen to increase its presence in the Asian market, and has recently seen a surge in interest from consumers in Hong Kong.

“Hong Kong is really starting to kick off – there’s a big market for Italian wine there, but we’re still working on mainland China,” Mariani-May told db.

“Our big aim for 2012 is to expand into other markets – our sights are set on Asia and eastern Europe, where we’re not fully developed yet.

“Connoisseurs know our wines, but we want to get our message out there to everyday consumers.

“We want to be the best at what we do – to produce the most outstanding Brunello wines from Sangiovese, that’s our main focus.”

In January this year, Banfi Vintners – the importer arm of the Banfi business, and America’s longest running wine importer, added Washington-based Riesling pioneer Pacific Rim to its portfolio, founded by Bonny Doon’s Randall Grahm in 1992.

“We’re keen to work with different estates, and are always on the lookout for gems,” Mariani-May added.

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