By James Wells

Mainland China is now Australia’s largest wine export market and a record number of local wineries will be attending the country’s leading trade exhibition in Shanghai next week to capitalise on this growing demand.

Over 30 Australian wineries will exhibiting at the fourth annual ProWine China exhibition in Shanghai to help grow sales across Mainland China.

Last month TheShout reported that strong growth over the last 12 months saw China overtake the USA for the first time to become the leading export market.

In the 12 months to 30 September Australian wine sales to Mainland China grew by 51 per cent to $474 million – a substantial increase from a decade earlier when the export value was only $27 million. Over the last year the US market grew by four per cent to $448 million, and the Hong Kong market grew by seven per cent to $126 million and is now the fifth largest export market for Australian wine.

According to Wine Australia CEO Andreas Clark, the strong Asian growth has come from the growing middle class and a sustained advertising campaign focusing on Australian wine as clean and environmentally safe.

“We have worked hard to cultivate our presence and our image. It's things like being in the market, exporters establishing relationships with the distributors, setting up opportunities for exporters and educating the Chinese trade around wine and what Australian wine is,” he said.

Clark believes the Asian wine boom is only just beginning and has been boosted by the recent China-Australia free trade agreement.

Currently, 93 per cent of the wine sales to China are red wines, but white wines are emerging with 33 per cent year-on-year growth.

According to the organisers of the ProWine China exhibition, almost 300 square metres of exhibition space has been booked by Australian exhibitors for the event that will run from 7-9 November.

“At ProWine China 2015, Australia exhibited as an official national pavilion for the first time. The feedback was immense and Australia currently has booked 20 per cent more space at ProWine 2016. It shows that ProWine China has developed into an important event in the Chinese wine market,” said the global head of ProWein Germany and ProWine China exhibitions, Marius Berlemann.

Australian wineries represented at ProWine China 2016 include: Accolade Wines, Pernod Ricard, McWilliam’s Wines, Tyrell’s, Warburn, Kingston Estate and De Bortoli as well as Limestone Coast Wines, Harvey River, Blue Pyrenees Estate, Cake Wines, Riversdale, Wild Duck Creek Estate, GNT Fine Wines, Amphora Wine Group, Hentley Farm Wines, Stuart Wines, Trifon Estate Wines, Geoff Hardy, Logan Wines, Deep Woods Estate, Millbrook Winery, Irvine Wines, Reillys Wines, Heartland Wines, Organic Wines, Emmetts Crossing, Cranswick, Winesome, Byron @ Harold, L’Ateller by Aramis and Winegrapes Australia.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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