Wine Australia partnered with Alibaba Group to drive sales of Australian wine at the third annual 9:9 Global Wine and Spirits Festival (9:9天貓全球酒水節) on 9 September 2018.
The online festival highlighted international wine and spirit brands to over 576 million Chinese online consumers through business-to-consumer marketplace Tmall.com.
'Online retail has revolutionised the way that people shop so it’s critical that the Australian wine sector has an online presence which promotes our brands in a genuine way. It’s opening up commercial opportunities for our wineries and building on a year of strong growth for Australian wine in the Chinese export market.'
Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Hon David Littleproud MP
A highlight of this year’s festival was an enhanced Wine Australia flagship store showcasing an increased range of popular Australian wine brands. It offered consumers significantly more choice, linking through to the Australian wines available through the Tmall stores of Treasury Wine Estates, Casella Family Brands, Pernod Ricard Winemakers and ASC Fine Wines Limited.
Penfold's Wines and the evolution of modern Australian winemaking
‘There’s a statistic I’ve seen that says that 85 per cent of young Chinese people never, or almost never, go into shops. This is a country in which people are almost born holding smartphones and ready to use them. And if you are not in the eCommerce world, then you are not there. Tmall particularly, JD… There’s a whole range of them. You’ve also got mixture now of ‘clicks and mortar’ stores like 1919.com with huge numbers of stores that are guaranteeing nineteen-minute delivery from one of their thousands of stores.’
Robert Joseph, The Wine Thinker
With Chinese consumers developing a taste for Australian wine, exports to China are at an all-time high. Wine Australia’s most recent Export Report shows exports to China grew by 55 per cent in value to AUD$1.12 billion and 47 per cent in volume to 184 million litres in the last year.
'Everything in China is purchasable online now. You don't need to leave the online environment, they use their mobile to do everything. We can see with certain styles of white wine, like Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, there is an increasing demand from women in the 18 to 35 age bracket.'
Stuart Barclay, General Manager Marketing, Wine Australia
In an effort to drive awareness in the lead-up to the festival, specifically amongst China’s emerging wine drinkers, Alibaba and Wine Australia brought the famous Chinese Chufei Churan twins to Australia to help livestream their experience via Tmall.com.
Chufei (Yoni) and Churan (Joyce) engaged their one-million-plus social media followers as they experienced the ultimate wine adventure – a packed intinerary showcasing Australia’s unique food and wine culture.
'Australian products are so premium. We have been to Australia before and everything is such good quality like the wine, food and even the water - it is so clean. Lots of Chinese people already like Australian products, and through the Tmall 9:9 promotion, we can highlight the Australian wines we recommend.'
Chufei Churan twins
Itinerary highlights included a visit to Sydney Fish Markets for fresh oysters paired with sparkling wine and dessert degustation created by MasterChef contestant Reynold Poernomo at KOI Dessert Bar in Chippendale.
‘What we are seeing now is the emergence of younger consumers taking an interest in wine… They are buying wine for consumption rather than gifting and they are seeing it as an aspirational lifestyle choice, and that just means there is a lot of opportunity.’
Jamie Sach, Penfolds Global Ambassador
Extreme weather conditions in Sydney meant the twins were not able to fly to the South Australian wine regions, however they enjoyed a number of premium Australian wines showcasing the regions at high-end hotels and the famous Grounds of Alexandria (Sydney).
KOI dessert bar ran an exclusive wine and dessert pairing from 8–9 September 2018, with Sydneysiders able to taste Chef Poernomo’s eight inspired desserts when using AliPay.
Wine Australia’s partnership with Alibaba Group in the lead up to the 9:9 online festival is part of a broader strategy to drive sales of Australian wine on Tmall.com – the world’s fastest growing e-commerce platform. The investments are supported by the Australian Government’s $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package and complement the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing at Vinexpo Hong Kong 2018.