News Site Ponders Australia, China’s Ability to Compete with France


Will the New World winemakers from China and Australia compete with France’s dominance? 
This past Friday reporter Michael Lerner of Blouin News tried to answer that questions, taking a look at the two countries’ current state and using the data to peer into the future. 
According to Lerner, Australia and China are grouped together, in part, because China is the largest market for Australian wines. 
That hasn’t helped the country’s bulk wine market, which Lerner said is “on the verge of collapse.” At the same time, he said, premium wines are becoming very popular. 
“Premium wine producers are seeing profitable growth for their pricy products,” Lerner wrote. “AG&WA’s March report found that sales grew exponentially as wine price increased...the ultra-premium segment, $40 and higher, saw an astonishing 55 percent growth.”
The boost in ultra-premium wine sales is a positive sign, along with the Australian government’s recent pledge to “spend $25 million on promoting Australian wines overseas.”
These factors could lead Australian wines to gain momentum in the global market. But to unseat France? Lerner was silent. 
As for China, the country’s growth is well known. Part of that growth is attributed local government support, Lerner said. The metaphorical explosion of vineyards had its downside, he wrote, saying, “That rapid growth … was more of a disorganized frenzy of planting vineyards without industry best practices.”
The China Alcoholic Drinks Association’s Wang Zuming said this is why many wineries are producing tipple, but that the quality is more like plonk and less like premium.
“Many wine estates were built blindly, while little breakthrough was achieved in the selection of variety and plantation technology,” Zuming said. 
Despite these factors, Chinese wine quality is showing pockets of improvement, Lerner said. Furthermore, Chinese winemakers are building infrastructure for the country’s wine industry. 
This past month, Lerner said, “17 wine associations from different parts of China established a trade body, the China Wine Associations Alliance.” 
Also working in China’s favor is the country’s appetite for education. 
“France has seen an increase in Chinese students at its wine schools and a trend of Chinese investors buying up French vineyards,” he wrote.
Despite the improvements and advances in both countries and in New World countries across the globe, France has managed to keep its stranglehold both on wine production and exported wine price tags – Lerner said French wines cost three times the average export price. 
“All wine-producing countries want to tap the lucrative premium market, but it takes time to establish and scale up a domestic industry that can deliver such high-quality results,” Lerner wrote. “France and other European wine exporters have had a long head start, but the coming years may see ... global production gain momentum.”

Mentioned in this article


Add a Comment

Search Articles

Best Wine Deals

See More Deals

Snooth Media Network