China Wine: Why Australian Drops Are Dominating In The World's Largest Population

07/02/2016 6:22 AM AEDT | Updated July 15, 2016 12:51
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Young Woman Drinking Red Wine

Australian wines are the flavour of the year in the world's two largest populations: with China bestowing the highest honours on our reds and India looking to learn more.

Last year, Wine Australia figures showed Australian wine exports to China increased 66 percent, worth $370 million.

The love affair continues this year with more Aussie wines being awarded in the China Wine and Spirits Best Value Awards this week than any other country.

The 2015 Taylors Estate Merlot won the top Australian award and managing director Mitchell Taylor said thei Chinese market had come a long way.

“They have a real thirst for education and knowledge now,” Taylor said.

“You may have heard the stories than in China, it’s all about chins up, skoll the wine, mix it with soft drinks.

“In the early days, that did sometimes happen but now, the Chinese market has become very sophisticated and very conscious of how to correctly serve wine, understand its flavour profiles and match it with Chinese cuisine.”

Taylor said that like China's obsession with Australia's milk products and vitamins, Australian wine was seen as being safe, pure and healthy.

"They have a lot of confidence in Australian wine's purity and quality," Taylor said.

"They also like family brands, consistency and a trusted reputation.

china wine

The Chinese market is hungry for knowledge. Picture: Jade Via Getty Images

"In China, red is a lucky colour but they're also interested in the associated health aspects of red wine, and they look to Australia as a place of purity."

He said the preferred Chinese drop was fruity without overbearing tannins.

"They like a soft, silky structure," he said.

Different Australian varieties are finding their own markets across the world, and Wine Australia's most recent export report for December 2015 showed the value of Australian wine exports had its biggest jump since October 2007, up 14 percent to $2.1 billion.

Wine Australia chair Brian Walsh said future growth would likely be spurred on by a new interest from India. He hosted an exclusive tasting in New Delhi of grange, port, cabernet sauvignon and shiraz.

‘We need to keep engaging with markets like India where the potential for increased wine demand is strong," Walsh said in a statement.

"Now is the time to cement Australia’s reputation as a producer of fine wine and tastings like this one, along with the work we do with in-market Australian wine educators in both Mumbai and New Delhi, will help us grow demand among discerning Indian wine consumers."

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