China recently overtook the United States as Australia’s biggest wine export market by value and Chinese consumers’ appetite for Australian brands and wineries continues to grow in strength. This high demand for Australian wines is having a profound impact on the Australian wine industry as producers compete to meet Chinese consumers’ preferences.
One way that Chinese consumers are having an impact on the industry is through their unique tastes and preferences for particular types of wine. A general preference amongst Chinese consumers for red wines rather than whites has begun to affect the industry with producers who have China in their sights favouring planting black grape varieties.
As well as determining the types of wines Australian wineries produce, the Chinese demand for wine has also led to significant numbers of Chinese nationals investing in the Australian wine industry. One example is Guo Song who arrived in Australia in 2007 and bought Jarressa Estate with some of his friends. According to Song this has proved to be a great investment since in the last three years Australian exported wine sales to China have grown by 50%. In2018 Jarressa Estate sold a total of 10 million bottles, 96% of which were destined for China. If Jarressa Estate’s success is anything to go by, having Chinese investors and staff onboard seems like a smart move for Australian producers and brands who are keen to excel in the Chinese market.