China’s largest and oldest wine trade fair – the China Food and Drinks Fair (CFDF) in Chengdu – held from 18 to 24 March, was marked by an amplified Australian presence with 60 wine brands and 20 wine regions exhibiting under the Wine Australia banner thanks to the support of the $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package.
Established in 1955, the CFDF attracts more than 100,000 wine importers and buyers from China’s regional cities, and is widely regarded as the leading Chinese trade fair in the wine sector.
Located in Sichuan Province - the economic powerhouse of western China – the fair saw a queue of thousands gather outside the CFDF entrance to sample some of the best wines from around the world.
Attendees were treated to Australian wine tastings and master classes, along with networking opportunities and a thought-provoking seminar to generate excitement about Australian wine.
The fair is divided into two parts: a series of hotel shows (18–21 March) featuring wine, spirit and beer tastings that offer business and networking opportunities, and the main fair or trade exhibition (22–24 March) for brand development and promotion, which features more than 3,000 exhibitors.
Australia was present with branded wine booths at the Shangri-La Hotel show for the first time, and had an expanded series of activities at the main fair including:
- six in-pavilion tasting classes delivered by certified educators Noel Qi and Yin Lixue on diverse types of Shiraz, as well as classic varieties of white and red wines
- a networking dinner for exhibitors, key media, educators, key opinion leaders and trade guests, facilitating further marketing and business opportunities
- a thought-provoking seminar on Australian wine business and the opportunities in the China market, with guest speakers James Halliday AM, Yang Lu MS and in-market opinion leaders
- a master class on Australian wine pairings for Sichuan cuisine, delivered by Yang Lu, China’s first Master Sommelier, and
- a master class on cool climate wines, delivered by Terry Xu, Wine Australia-certified educator and internet wine celebrity.
Participants in the master class on cool climate wines, delivered by Terry Xu. Photo: Wine Australia
Wine Australia’s Regional General Manager, China, David Lucas, said the Chengdu Fair was one of the largest platforms in the region for showcasing wine.
‘That’s why, with the package’s funding support, we organised events and activities to reach an even greater audience.’
Mr Lucas said importantly a number of the Australian exhibitors had achieved their objective of meeting potential new distributors through their presence at the show.
The regions represented at Chengdu included: Barossa Valley, Blackwood Valley, Coonawarra, Clare Valley, Grampians, Heathcote, Henty, Hunter Valley, Hilltops, Langhorne Creek, Limestone Coast, Margaret River, McLaren Vale, Nagambie Lakes, Padthaway, Riverland, Southern Highlands, Yarra Valley and Tasmania.