Bubbly-maker Moët-Hennessy has invested in a vineyard in China that will produce red wine for the Chinese market.
The luxury Champagne brand has been aggressively pursuing the Chinese market in recent years, having acquired a Chinese spirits brand five years ago. Last year, Moët-Hennessy also began production of a premium sparkling wine in the province of Ningxia Hui (NB: good luck pronouncing that!).
The explosive growth of middle and upper classes in Chinese society has been attracting major wine brands from around the world.
It is also reported that Domaines Barons de Rothschild has developed 25 hectares of vineyards in the province of Shandong in 2008, with the goal of producing 240,000 bottles of premium wine which will be aged until 2014.
I’d be very intrigued to see what some of the “big boys” are capable of producing once they setup shop in China. They at least have the knowledge, marketing and distribution backing them up. If I had to guess, I think it’s going to be a long time before Chinese make their way West and into your local grocery store. Anything is possible though!
With that being said, will they really ever feel the need to export? They have such a captive audience in China that Rothschild and Moët-Hennessy et al. wouldn’t even have to try that hard to sell juice with their name on it, based on the Chinese appetite for luxury wine brands.