By James Wells in Shanghai
Over 25 Australian wineries have walked away from three days at the inaugural ProWine China with a strong list of business leads, but sadly a lack of support from Wine Australia disappointed many exhibitors.
One of the biggest critics of Wine Australia’s no-show was Shanghai-based consultant Mat Ryan who helped coordinate a number of smaller Australian companies to attend the exhibition this year to help them find distributors in China.
Ryan has worked and lived in China for 10 years, and said the lack of support from Wine Australia, other than a brief visit from a local representative was extremely disappointing.
Ryan told TheShout that numerous requests to the Wine Australia office in China for assistance with minor tasks such as the translation of tasting notes consistently fell on deaf ears.
‘’It would be good to get some Wine Australia support, and I am sure that is coming,” he said.
“This show is going to be very good and we are doing some good business here.”
Elderton Wines co-managing director, Cameron Ashmead was a last minute addition to the ProWine China floorplan and was happy with the result.
“China is becoming increasingly more important to us. We’ve taken a punt to come to ProWine China this year and there have been some very good contacts that we have met so I would recommend it to anyone,” he said.
Woodstock Wines managing director, Scott Collett, said when talking to prospective Chinese importers of his products he emphasised the importance of the clean environment in the McLaren Vale and his ability “to bottle sunshine” which can be a rare commodity in parts of Mainland China.
“It has been an amazing three days. We have had a lot of visitors from all over China wanting distribution of our wines in different locations and different cities and provinces. Some want national distribution for everything – it has been the interest we have been getting for our wines over here and it’s the place to be. I haven’t got enough wine to supply everybody, so it’s about who my best prospects are. It’s a great position to be in and I’m glad I came.”
Also among the exhibitors was privately owned Melbourne-based company Sunshine Creek which was representing a number of wineries targeting the Chinese market including Bannockburn, Craiglee, K1 by Geoff Hardy from the Adelaide Hills, Philip Shaw from Orange and Vinea Marson from Heathcote.
Barossa-based winery, 1847, which has recently transferred to Chinese ownership had the largest stand at the event and is expected to make further announcements in coming weeks regarding the next stage of their distribution strategy in China and also Australia.
Click here to hear more from Parkfield’s Mat Ryan:
Click here to hear more from Elderton’s Cameron Ashmead:
Click here to hear more from Woodstock’s Scott Collett: