China’s third-biggest wine producer, Weilong Grape Wine Company, has adapted to the rapidly-growing Chinese appetite for Australian wines by setting up their own winery in northern Victoria.
The company has invested AUS$75 million in the winery close to Mildura which is expected to vinify and bottle some 25,000 tonnes of predominantly black grape varieties. The fruit is being sourced from the Sunraysia region and the project is expected to boost the area’s reputation overseas as a producer of quality wines.
“We planned to have the wine bottled by the end of the year, and on sale for Chinese New Year in January 2020,” commented Bruno Zappia, Weilong’s General Manager of Australian Operations. “The company has enough faith in the region to have an investment of this size.”
According to executive officer of Murray Valley Wine Growers, Mike Stone, the investment is proof of the tremendous value Australia has to offer the Chinese market. “It’s extremely significant for Australia, there hasn’t been a winery development of this magnitude for many years,” Mr Stone said.
“It speaks volumes for their confidence in our ability to produce quality fruit for the wine they want to deliver to their customers back home. It also highlights our reputation and the fact that we can deliver what they want, it’s good for the future that a business of this size has located in our region.”