By Amy Looker
Australian wine exports to China are expected to reach a value of $200 million this year, as more Chinese drinkers adopt Western-style drinking habits.
China’s biggest brewery, Tsingtao, is putting its substantial weight behind the Australian wine industry by deciding to exclusively import Australian wine throughout its vast distribution network across China.
Tsingtao’s chairman, Jin Zhigou, recently told The Australian that the company plans to establish a bottling plant at its headquarters in Qingdao, to process imported Australian bulk wine.
“Tsingtao beer has established a good reputation and has credibility, so when we choose to bring wine from Australia this will help people establish a trust and credibility on the wine,” said Jin.
“We will also use Tsingtao’s distribution network in China which will help reduce the distribution and marketing costs for the wine.”
Total wine exports to China have doubled over the last few years, with Australian wine exports up by 50 percent. Australia currently enjoys 20 percent market share in China, second only to France, with Wine Australia predicting that China will become Australia’s biggest export market by 2015.