Chinese Demanding More Premium Wines From Argentina, South America

Patrick Archer foreign investment, global rankings, lifestyle, wine & vineyards

China, the world’s fifth-largest consumer of wine, is already one of the Top 10 wine export markets for most South American countries. Chinese consumers drank more than 1.4 billion liters of wine in 2011, a number that is projected to grow to 2.2 billion liters by 2015. According to industry analysts, much of that 60% increase will come from vineyards in Argentina, Chile and Peru.

Chile currently leads the South American pack in China thanks to free-trade agreement which have helped companies like Concha y Toro (CyT) open offices in Singapore and export over 160,000 cases annually worth US$4.8 billion. CyT’s Asian Export Director Cristian Lopez told’s Guillermo Feres Castillo the greatest upside for South American wineries lies in the premium market.

Chinese demand for premium wines far exceeds the supply, and for that reason we are growing our chain of distributors in the region. Our focus is on the wines that retail for US$40 and higher in Chinese supermarkets. In stores in Peking and Shanghai, Chinese wine lovers are paying upwards of US$250 per bottle,” says Lopez.

China is currently the seventh-largest export market for both Chile and Argentina. With over 400,000 cases shipped and estimated revenue of US$16.4 billion, China was the fastest-growing export market for Argentina in 2011, a trend that should continue this year. Argentine bodega San Huberto is targeting the US$60-80 per bottle segment in China while Luigi Bosca’s Alberto Arizu says their high-end Malbec Reserva is their best-selling wine in China. (Full Story in Spanish)

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