Castel has opened a 5,000 sq.m warehouse and distribution centre in the southern Chinese city of  Shenzhen, near  Hong Kong.

The centre, which trades as the Shenzhen Castel Winery Company, serves as a storage and consolidation point for Castel wines which are distributed to China's main regions by around 90 wholesalers. It has the capacity to handle up to 500,000 bottles of wine at any one time.

"The centre really simplifies the whole of the supply chain. Delivery times are reduced significantly, the risk of stock shortages diminished and wholesalers can deal directly with the centre in placing orders. Overall, we can react more quickly and efficiently to customers needs," a Castel spokesman told just-drinks.

Stock shortages to the Chinese market last year saw Castel having to resort to the costly option of  flying in shipments by air to meet deadlines. "This was far from satisfactory and the centre will allow us to keep a close tab on stock levels and to anticipate replenishment," the spokesman said.

Castel's global sales volume in China last year totalled approximately 1.2m bottles.