ProWine China is to host a “matchmaking” event that will connect Chinese and western vineyards looking to expand in the Asian country.

The event, to be hosted by Chinese wine expert Li Demei from the Beijing Agricultural Collage, will run at the second ProWine China, to be held in Shanghai in November. In an exclusive interview with just-drinks published today (6 May), ProWine China head organiser Marius Berlemann said the matchmaking conference will focus on knowledge exchange as well as financial support.

“I don't want to purely focus on investment,” Berlemann said. “There can be various aspects covered such as, what are the challenges in the Chinese market, how do I start importing, how do I find the right importer or distributor?”

Berlemann said the event will help western companies take their first steps into the Chinese market and secure contacts within the domestic industry.

“Everybody you ask here in China says that it's always very difficult to find the right importer, distributor, or partner in general,” he said. “But seeing your partner face to face, and being on-site at an exhibition is probably the best way to start a long-term co-operation.”

Meanwhile, Berlemann said the on-going government crackdown on gift-giving between officials in China will offer opportunities for non-luxury wine brands.

“There will still be luxury, but for the brands that are not the focus of gift-giving there will be a change because it's about taste and not price or country of origin,” he said.