Tomich Wines’ Unique Approach Woos Chinese Market

Boutique winery Tomich Wines from Australia’s Adelaide Hills shows how a smaller producer can grasp the huge opportunities awaiting in Hong Kong and China.

Originally the estate grew grapes for Penfolds before deciding to bottle and sell their own wines under the Tomich family name. Today the family-run winery produces some 60,000 cases and have established a solid presence in the Chinese market.

A key reason for their success has been doing things a little differently and from 2009 Tomich Wines director and winemaker Randal Tomich fixed his attention on Hong Kong and China. Randal explained, “I see these as great areas of opportunity, places where we can establish our own clear identity.”

One way the family has done this is by establishing a physical presence in the major Chinese cities of Shanghai, Chengdu and Chongqing. The Tomichs have founded three cellar door tasting rooms and stores here and employ knowledgeable Chinese staff to communicate their passion and expertise to interested shoppers.

Another clever move by Tomich Wines is theirpartnership with a total of 17 distributors which gives them access to many different parts of China. Randal notes that, “You can’t think of China as one country, because there are many, many small networks built around individuals rather than a highly complex and evolved distribution system.”

Randal’s final piece of advice for those looking to crack the Chinese wine market is to “forget the old models. There are new and different opportunities, but you have to go and hunt for them.”

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