Wine culture gains ground in China

U.S. wine exports to China in 2010 were $45 million, up almost 400 percent from 2006, according to Linsey Gallagher, the California Wine Institute's director of international marketing.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

The scene stopped me in my tracks. There, on the street in the middle of the bustling market, stalls filled with fake Longchamp bags and knockoff Ralph Lauren, was a young Chinese man standing behind a table wearing a portable microphone and hawking vacuum-powered wine-pump openers.

Is this the sign that wine culture has really arrived in China?

The enthusiasm of the Chinese for top Bordeaux has already pushed up prices for the 2008s and 2009s. Just imagine what will happen to wine prices overall if even only 10 percent of the Chinese population - the equivalent proportion of Americans who regularly drink wine - is bitten by the wine bug.

China clearly is on the way. Look at the results from any recent auction in Hong Kong. Paul Pontallier, technical director of Chateau Margaux, told Bloomberg News that one-third of Margaux's sales were in China, Hong Kong and Macao.

For more, see: Wine culture starting to take hold in China

TAGS: Outlook
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