Blog: Chris MercerVinisud 2012 - An emerging concern about wine in China

Chris Mercer | 21 February 2012

Here's the thing about China: is anyone actually drinking the wine? 

I'm here in Montpellier at Vinisud 2012 and the eary morning sky is full of promise for the day ahead. You can probably see where I'm going with this; yes, it's just like wine sales in China. 

No one doubts that China's wine market is going to grow. Per capita consumption is still less than one litre. Meanwhile, most of the world's big wine producer nations are reporting strong export growth to the country.

But, from conversations I've had with people in some of those producer nations, I'm hearing more and more concern about what's actually happening in China. There is a suspicion that a lot of bottled wine is fetching a high price but is, in the end, providing ornamental value on the mantelpiece rather than enjoyment at the dinner table.

This fits with the Chinese penchant for French wines with old labels, preferably with the word 'chateau' plastered across the front. Status and Western memorabilia are big in China. At Vinisud, as at the Australia Day tasting I attended recently, the message is increasingly that vintners should approach China with caution, despite its exciting prospects. 

Back here in Montpellier, last night was a bit special for me. I've wanted to attend the Michelin-starred 'le jardin des sens' here for some time and, finally, I have achieved it, thanks largely to Vignobles Foncalieu, who are kindly paying for my trip and subsistence while here. The food really is exquisite. If you're down this way, just go. 


BLOG

Non-alcoholic beer fails the Bernstein challenge

Crazy days in the Bernstein offices. Taking time out from being one of the world’s top beverage analysts, the Bernstein team, lead by its London-based veteran Trevor Stirling, held its very own taste ...

BLOG

AG Barr launches Funkin innovation search

AG Barr has lined up a Funkin campaign in the UK to find an 'innovation champion'. ...

BLOG

Are you a beer geek? Take the Brewdog quiz and find out

Brewdog, the Scottish craft brewer, likes to claim its drinkers are some of the most knowledgeable around....

BLOG

The (temporary) return of Paul Walsh to the drinks debate

Paul Walsh just can't stay away from the drinks industry....

just-drinks homepage



Forgot your password?