Australian wine producers may need a greater understanding of the culture of Chinese wine consumption to retain their market share in the fast-growing Asian nation.
The Chinese market for imported wine recorded a strong year of growth in 2010, because of the country’s growing economy and rising incomes.
China is Australia’s fastest growing wine export market, but Australia comes a distant second to France.
Senior commodities analyst with Rabobank, Marc Soccio, says the Australian wine industry needs to understand more about the “enigmatic” Chinese wine market.
“The way the Chinese consume wine is quite different to other parts of the world…it’s very much a status symbol, it’s something that they use to project their own status in society,” he said.
“For that reason, the consumption of foreign wine in particular is very much centred in the hotel and restaurant trade and very much around entertaining both family and business banquets and gift-giving occasions.
“The way the Chinese consume wine is quite different to what we’re used to, and I think that’s what makes it such an interesting market and such a difficult market to get your head around and penetrate.
“So I think that’s one of the major challenges is actually understanding how to best tackle this.”