Germany looks to the East
German wine imports to China have overtaken those to Japan for the first time this year.
Speaking to the drinks business, the German Wine Institute’s marketing director Steffen Schindler explained that, having been cautious to begin with, now was a good time to push into the Asian market.
“For a long time I said, ‘don’t get over excited about China or India’,” he said. “People forget that they – China in particular –have huge domestic wine production. It wasn’t going to be as easy as turning up with your wine and expecting it to sell.
“But the market has grown so fast and now it is worth it I feel. China has just surpassed Japan as the biggest market for German wine in Asia and Japan was the second market in the world for German wine in the 1990s.
Singapore is also growing well and is a destination for high quality German wine be it dry or sweet.”
Education is also key for German wine in all markets and particularly so in Asia.
“Teaching is very important. We (the DWI) have just published our first big brochure in Chinese and we’re working on a website.”
Schindler also confirmed he was working closely with the WSET’s CEO Ian Harris, who had said that he expected annual student intakes in Asian markets to soon outstrip those in the UK. The DWI is currently discussing the creation of a global scholarship programme in partnership with the WSET.