The Don Julio brand is set to enter China

The Don Julio brand is set to enter China

Diageo has welcomed the lifting of China's ban on high-methanol Tequila and said its Don Julio brand is well placed to capitalise on the market's projected growth. 

China previously had restrictions on the sale of Tequila containing more than two grams of methanol per litre until its government reached an agreement with Mexico's authorities in June. It is now expected that China will become the world's second-largest Tequila market in the next five years. 

“Diageo has consistently supported the Mexican Tequila Association in their discussions with the China Government for Tequila, and we are delighted that the Chinese Government has lifted its restrictions,” a company spokeperson told just-drinks today (2 August). 

Last year, around 410,000 litres of “lower agave” Tequila was exported to China, the spokeperson said, while high-end blue agave Tequilas were banned due to China's rules. 

Pointing to the predicted boom in the market, the spokeperson added that Don Julio, made with 100% blue agave, will be “well positioned to take advantage of this growth”. The US is currently Don Julio's top market and the biggest Tequila market in the world, ahead of Germany. 

The company did not directly comment to just-drinks on when Don Julio, which has five variants, might be introduced to China. 

Don Julio is Diageo's sole Tequila brand. In June this year, the company gave up its global distribution deal for Jose Cuervo after talks with the its owners collapsed as Diageo sought to acquire the brand

Premium Tequila producer Patron Spirits confirmed this week that product is "on its way" to China since the ban was lifted