At an end of year Wines of Chile conference, a specialist in the Chinese wine market and research analyst at Wine Intelligence, Rui Su, came to speak to the Chilean wine industry about the importance of investing in the Asian market now and not missing the boat.
“It is crucial to invest now rather than later, because there are a lot of other countries who have invested, or are investing, in China,” said Rui Su at the conference held in Vitacura in Santiago last week.
While Chile already receives a good perception in China as one of the top five wine producers, the analyst warned that Chile shouldn’t rest on its laurels as China is a fast growing market with an increasing inclination towards imported wine which could easily become a game changer for new wine producing countries.
“Imported wine is such good quality and this has been realized by consumers nowadays,” Rui Su said. “There is also a general concern over domestic product quality overall in China. The image of domestic products is slightly damaged so consumers will pay or trade up to buy imported wine – imported wine will grow much faster than domestic wine.”
China is still in its infancy as a wine market but the sheer population of China means that even if one in ten start to drink wine on a yearly basis it could become the most important wine market in the world. “If just one percent of the Chinese population drink wine every week, the whole of Chile would have to plant wine everywhere… there wouldn’t be enough!” Chinese sommelier Hans RJ Qu told Wines of Chile in a recent interview about the increasing demand there.
By Amanda Barnes