The continuing emergence of China in the wine industry

Chateau-Reifeng-Auzias Cabernet 2010

China's presence in the wine world has been a busy subject in wine journals and magazines lately. The articles cover a large range of wine-related aspects and all indicate that the Asian market is on the rise.

This month's Chinese presence in wine publications is no exception. In terms of wine production, a Chinese bordeaux blend was (for the second year in a row) selected as an international trophy winner in the Decanter World Wine Awards; this year, for "Red Bordeaux varietal under £10" (Decanter 38:1, October 2012: 46).

In this month's Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research (vol. 18, no. 3), Williamson, Robichaud and Francis's article "Comparison of Chinese and Australian consumers' liking responses for red wines" (p. 256-267) is an extensive study of consumer preferences; Australian and Chinese wine consumers evaluated 14 wines with the intended aim of establishing potential sensory preference differences across cultures. This study is related to a long-term project the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) is conducting on wine quality and consumer preferences.

In terms of the region as a whole, this month's Wine & Viticulture Journal (vol. 27, no. 5) includes an article, "Emerging Asian markets" (p. 78-79), examining the export market (from Australia) to nine emerging Asian markets, excluding China and Japan. Among other insights, Singapore is a very fast-growing market and South Korea currently appears to be the market with the best potential return on investment.