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Is white wine about to boom in China?

Representing prosperity in Chinese culture, it’s no surprise that red has long been the colour of choice for wine consumers in China. However, as tastes develop and consumer knowledge grows, we could be heading for a white wine revolution.

Is white wine about to boom in China?

Diversity of interest grows as markets develop, and that’s what we’re seeing in the Chinese wine market today.

As such, it should come as no surprise that white wine is gaining traction among Chinese drinkers.

During a session at this year’s Vinexpo Asia trade show entitled ‘Roundtable with Industry Titans: Insights into the Future of China’s Wine Market’, Xiao Pi, a Chinese wine influencer and e-commerce retailer based in Shanghai, noted that what white wines make up 40% of the wine sales on his e-commerce platform.

Having launched the platform in 2018, Pi has seen the rise of white wine in China firsthand. He has also amassed nearly a million followers on social media platforms such as WeChat, Weibo, Bilibili, and Xiaohongshu, bringing him that much closer to consumers and their preferences.

Don St Pierre, co-founder of ASC Fine Wines and AdaptEdge, also has his finger on the pulse of the Chinese wine scene. Also present at the Vinexpo Asia panel discussion, St Pierre explained that the longstanding prominence of red wines in China reflects the gift giving culture and perception of wine as a status symbol. He argued that in contrast, the rise of white wine reflects actual consumer tastes.

Fellow speaker Dan Siebers, co-partner of Wajiu China, agreed: “In contrast to the ‘El Dorado’ approach of the past, marketing to today’s consumer in China demands a more proactive and educated approach as they embrace technology and AI in their understanding and purchasing of wine. Wine drinkers are becoming more sophisticated in their tastes, drinking not what they should be drinking but what they enjoy drinking, as witnessed by the growth in white wine consumption which has grown 40% and which hardly existed 10 years ago.”

Part of this, the panelists agreed, is thanks to regions of the country with hotter climates, where white wine is a natural fit.

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