Sixteen influential wine trade and educators from the China mainland have wrapped up an immersive Australian wine experience hosted by Wine Australia as part of the China Trade Group Visit from 16 to 25 April.
The 10-day visit was designed to give guests insight to the unique characteristics of each region through winemaker dinners, winery tours, tastings, master classes and informal education sessions with regional experts.
Guests also experienced vintage first-hand with a full immersion into grape harvesting and winemaking at wineries in the Margaret River (WA), Great Southern (WA), McLaren Vale (SA), and Barossa (SA).
All the guests have already demonstrated an on-going commitment to promoting Australian wine in China and many of them were winners at the 2016 Wine Australia China Awards.
Darren Wang – Sommelier, Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong
‘The diversity of Australian wine really impressed me. Not only the grape varieties, ranging from classic ones such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, to Sangiovese, Tannat and Fiano, very diversified. The styles are also varied, from juicy to complex, from crisp to rich.
‘This trip renewed my understanding towards Australian wine: varied offerings of styles, mature market and operation, as well as unique local characteristics blended into wine culture.
‘After I return to China, I’d like to recommend more Australian wines from varied regions to my customers, try various wine pairings as well as seek some lesser-known grape varietals, presenting an overall Australian wine experience to them.’
Jassie Dong – Deputy General Manager, Shanghai Pran Wines
‘The master classes during the visit impressed me a lot on the diversity of Australian wine grapes, the typical styles of regional heroes, and the different terroirs of different vineyards even in the same region.
‘I was also very happy to join the trip with so many influential wine industry insiders. I learned a lot from them and found this trip very rewarding.
‘Wine Australia has done a terrific job on promoting premium Australian wine culture! I will continue to recommend more excellent wineries to the China market, and I believe the next three years will be a golden time for premium Australian wine soaring in China.’
Yin Lixue – Wine Australia certified educator and wine writer
‘Although I’ve been to Australia several times, this is the first time I’ve visited Margaret River, where I experienced the unique climate that results in the beautiful acidity of Chardonnay and delicate tannin of Cabernet Sauvignon.
‘During the conversations with winemakers, I also got to know that the summer of 2017 was cooler than average, so the harvest season was postponed for a few weeks. This makes me have an even higher expectation on the 2017 vintage of this region.’
Willa Yang, Wine Australia Head of Market, China said, ‘Every year, we host influential wine professionals from China in Australian wine regions. From their feedback, we know they return home having experienced the culture and heritage of Australian wine.
‘The trip allows them to learn more about the history of our regions alongside the modern innovations of our winemakers. They discover the lesser-known but equally fantastic aspects of Australian wine. This year, as always, all of our guests were impressed with the high quality, diversity and terroir of Australian wine, and I’m sure they will deliver the Australian fine wine message to the China market after they return.’
China trade group visit guests
- Allen Gao – Lecturer, Jinghua Co. Ltd
- Arnold Zhang – Sales Director, Aussino World Wines
- Charles Huang – Senior Vendor Manager, Amazon China
- Darren Wang – Sommelier, the Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong
- James Dai – Founder & Wine Educator, Gourmet114.com
- James Leslie Sing – Founder, Kakadu Restaurant
- James Teng – Head of Wine Asia, Hakkasan Shanghai
- Jassie Dong – Deputy General Manager, Shanghai Pran Wines Co., Ltd.
- Karla Wang – Founder & CEO, Penguin Society
- Kelly Xu – Brand Manager, Vinehoo.com
- Larry Li – Chief Wine Consultant, Everwise Wine Ltd.
- Sam Chen – Wine and Spirit Consultant, I-Way Wine & Spirit Education Institute (Shanghai)
- Serena Wang – National Sales Director, Pudao Wines
- Sophie Liu – Wine Writer and Educator, Shanghai Vinosophie Culture Communication Co., Ltd.
- Yin Lixue – Founder, Wine Writer and Educator, Godolphin Wine Service Co., Ltd
- Andy Zhu – Educator, I-Way Wine & Spirit Education Institute (Qingdao)
Australian wine exports to China grew by 43 per cent to $568 million in the 12 months to end of March 2017.