Australian wine took centre stage at the recent ProWine China fair in Shanghai. 40 brands from 20 wine regions in partnership with 22 exhibitors were showcased at the Wine Australia stand during November 13-15.
“As the wine trade business between China and Australia becomes more frequent, we can see that a growing number of Chinese consumers are showing great interest in wine, and their knowledge is improving a lot, which demonstrates our efforts and education work have achieved great results,” said Sam Chen, a Wine Australia certified educator.
On the first two days of the fair, Chen and David Hua, another Wine Australia certified educator, delivered tasting classes on key red and white varieties and diversified Australian Shiraz.
The classes provided an opportunity for stand visitors to learn more about the history, key grape varieties and regions of Australian wine as well as their diversity. All the wines tasted at the on-site classes were showcased at the stands.
“I really think that Australian wine has a very high level of acceptance among the consumers,” said James Teng, Head of Wine – Asia at Hakkasan Group.
“People are very familiar with Australian wine and they know that Australian wines are food-friendly, for Chinese food as well.”
“As a sommelier, one of the easiest wines to recommend to our guests is Australian wine. People are very familiar with Australian wine and they know that Australian wines are food-friendly, for Chinese food as well.”
Sommeliers like Teng have been involved in education programs at ProWine, organised by Wine Australia and presented by Robert Geddes MW. The classes were delivered through Sommelier Press, a somm-targeted influencer in China.
Public education extended to masterclasses held by the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) that featured global classes on Cabernet and Shiraz. These were delivered at both ProWine and at a business forum on Women and Wine in China.
Through better education and exposure to Australian wine, business opportunities and personal connections are flourishing for exhibitors.
Willa Yang, who is the head of market at Wine Australia said he’s seen a growing interest in premium Australian wines from trade visitors.
“ProWine China is one of the most professional and influential trade shows on the calendar. We’ve had incredibly positive feedback from our exhibiting partners who told us that they received strong business leads,” said Yang.
During the three day ProWine China event (14–16 November), more than 14,000 visitors attended, an increase of over 14 per cent from 2016. There were around 700 wines and spirits exhibitors from 33 countries along with 17 country pavilions and 3 region pavilions.