Prowine China 2019: The first-timers of the show

Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits

An important player in the US wine scene, Josh Cellars and Joseph Carr under Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits made their first appearance at ProWine China this year. “Josh Cellars is one of our most important brands in the US market. It is one of the top premium brands in the domestic market – our Cabernet Sauvignon is the top premium wine above US$10 by volume. The acceleration of growth of our three varietals in the US is exciting.” Dana Ryall, director of international sales, explained.

Currently, exports represent 5% of the company’s total business of its own proprietary brands and Canada followed by Caribbean are the two largest export markets. Steering the interest to European and Asian markets, the company participated ProWine Düsseldorf and China for the first time this year. Ryall said, “being one of the largest in the US, the brand offers three million cases annually. It is time to stretch our wings a little bit but we need to do it in a focused manner.”

He continued, “we started working with a Shanghai importer and exporting a small volume of wines to the region two years ago. China is a big country and I would like to regionalise it to find distributor partners, one in the north, central and south part respectively. This is one of the largest wine shows in China, I expect to meet people from around the country here.”

Right now, the Josh Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon is the only wine selling in China, priced under 200RMB. Yet the wine range he presented at the fair received good response from the visitors. Ryall said, “Chinese people are pleasantly surprised by what is coming out of California these days. Our wines are fruit driven, very approachable, balanced, and easy to follow by varietals.”

Regarding the potential tariff imposed on American wines, he remains optimistic. “Undoubtedly, this will bring disruption in the business, like I feel in the fair there are less people dropping by the California pavilion than others as they may expect the tax increment. However, even so we don’t see this lasting forever. Most importantly, I don’t think it deters people’s love for American wines. It may become slower in the Chinese market, but once the tariff goes away, the market will pick up on it right away again.”

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