Huiqin Ma, Vice Secretary General of the Chinese Society of Viticulture, will be one of the speakers via videoconference at the International Wine Forum, to be held in Mendoza, on September 18 and 19. Her presentation will provide a brief introduction of Chinese wine industry, and include the driving force of wine consumption, wine production trends in China, and changes in distribution channels.
What chances do you think Argentina has in this market?
I think Argentine wines have pretty good chance in the Chinese market, because of three reasons: firstly, Argentina has rather good country image in Chinese consumers, football, tango, BBQ meat are recognized by Chinese; secondly, in general, fruity wines from New World’s countries are easier to be accepted by new consumers than Bordeaux style heavy wines; and thirdly, Argentina’s wines in general are competitive in price.
And, what do you think about white wines?
White wines will have chances in China, though in the next 5 years we will still see red wines dominant. Increases in white wine consumption are due to the following: first, white wines are easier to be accepted by new consumers; second, they can match with many Chinese dishes; and finally, Chinese young generation has significantly improved acceptance of chilled drinks.
What is your opinion about Torrontés?
Torrontés is not familiar to Chinese consumers; however, an aromatic and moderate acidity wine Torrontés could be welcomed. Further market studies should be carried out to know the preferred style by the specific market and integrated marketing strategy is required for a successful promotion.
What does China’s market know about Argentine Malbec?
The most well known wine grapes in Chinese market are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz. Comparing with Australian Shiraz, Argentina Malbec needs to put more efforts to identify its character, style, quality and recognition in Chinese consumers.
What are Chinese consumers most interested in, brands or price ranges?
Both brands and price ranges are important factors when consumers make their purchasing decision, other factors include country/ region of the wines, vintage, package (including wine labels), recommendation from those consumers trust, etc.
What is the future of China’s winemaking?
We will see increase of total wine production in the next few years when planted vines bear fruits. Limited by the land and water resources and facing the big challenge of food supply for the heavy population (now 1.3 billion), the increase in wine acreage and production will be limited. Quality will be improved, especially wines from boutique wineries.
Do you think China will become a wine exporter?
Will there be large volume export? No. China will keep being a wine importer in the future, please refer to the above mentioned reasons. Will there be small quantity of wine export to Chinese restaurants? Maybe, we are all in the situation of globalization.
Is a great deal of foreign investment being made in China’s viticulture?
We begin to see more foreign investment being made in China’s viticulture; however, it is not easy. The climate, growth condition, and production related policies are all different. Investment in Chinese viticulture could strengthen cordial feeling in consumers; promote wine tour and the brand.