Australian wine took centre stage at the recent ProWine China fair in Shanghai, where 40 brands from 20 wine regions in partnership with 22 exhibitors were showcased at the Wine Australia stand.
On the first two days of the fair, Sam Chen and David Hua, Wine Australia certified educators, delivered tasting classes on key red and white varieties and diversified Australian Shiraz. The classes provided an opportunity for stand visitors to learn more about the history, key grape varieties and regions of Australian wine as well as their diversity. All the wines tasted at the on-site classes were showcased at the stands.
Wine Australia also worked with Sommelier Press, a leading sommelier-targeted influencer in China, to deliver a master class on Australian wine blends with Robert Geddes MW as presenter.
Australian wine was also championed at Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) master classes on global Cabernet and Shiraz at ProWine and at a business forum on Women & Wine delivered by influential educators in China.
Australian exhibitors networked with local influencers and potential buyers, including representatives from wine media, educators, retail buyers, sommeliers and importers at a dinner attended by Australia’s Consul-General in China Graeme Meehan.
During the three day ProWine China event (13–16 November), more than 14,000 visitors attended, an increase of over 14 per cent from 2016. There were around 700 wines and spirits exhibitors from 33 countries along with 17 country pavilions and 3 region pavilions.
Sam Chen, Wine Australia certified educator, said: ‘As the wine trade business between China and Australia becomes more frequent, we can see that a growing number of Chinese consumers are showing
great interest in wine, and their knowledge is improving a lot, which demonstrates our efforts and education work have achieved great results’.
Cynthia Guo, deputy editor-in-chief from RVF China, said: ‘A full range of Australian wines were showcased at Wine Australia’s stand, and I especially liked the on-site tasting class area in the pavilion. After people attend the classes they can try the wines at the stands and get a deeper understanding of the diversity and quality of Australian wines’.
James Teng, Head of Wine – Asia at Hakkasan Group, said: ‘I really think that Australian wine has a very high level of acceptance among the consumers. As a sommelier, one of the easiest wines to recommend to our guests is Australian wine. People are very familiar with Australian wine and they know that Australian wines are food-friendly, for Chinese food as well’.
Neil Hadley, MW, General Manager – Wakefield-Taylors Family Wines, said: ‘Australian wines have a lot of flavour. The visitors coming to our stand are responding to that and enjoy the richness and vibrancy of the wine flavours we have to offer. They are also enjoying meeting the Australians themselves at the stand telling them about the vineyards and wineries, and showing them the wines they taste’.
Jaysen Collins, Winemaker and Director from Massena, said: ‘It’s really important for Wine Australia to have a presence at a wine fair like this because it gives small companies like myself a chance to get involved as we don’t have enough resources to do it. It really sells stories of Australian wine, and I can come here and tell the stories of my wine’.
Willa Yang, Wine Australia Head of Market, China, said, ‘ProWine China is one of the most professional and influential trade shows on the calendar. We’ve had incredibly positive feedbacks from our exhibiting partners who told us that they received strong business leads and met with new and existing customers during the show. We also see a growing interest in premium Australian wines among trade visitors. The trade show is also a great opportunity for wine sector insiders in China to learn more about the quality and regional diversity of Australia’s premium wines.’