By James Wells, reporting from Shanghai
A large presence from Wine Australia has helped set a new record for the number of Australian wineries exhibiting at the third annual ProWine China event in Shanghai this week.
The significant Australian attendance was anchored by a large stand co-ordinated by Wine Australia regional manager Willa Yang and her team based in China. The stand featured over 20 separate brands including De Bortoli Wines, Hardys, Grant Burge, McWilliam’s Wines, Evans & Tate, Angoves, Irvine, Penley Estate, Brygon Reserve Wines, Landaire, Winsome, Maxwell, Paxton, Dandelion, Sister’s Run, Glen Eldon, Greenock, Estate, Thistledown, Sutton Grange and Stuart Wines.
Additional stands in attendance included Warburn Estate, Harvey River Estate and a stand representing The Limestone Coast region.
De Bortoli Wines GM Sales for Greater China, Mat Bahen, was impressed by the exhibition.
“This is my first ProWine China,” Bahen told TheShout.
“After working in mainland China for 11 years with some of the major importers, I’ve attended 20 other Chinese wine fairs such as Sial, TopWine and InterWine and I have found them to provide a bit of a ‘scatter-gun’ approach.
“We decided to go ProWine this year and we will definitely be coming back because I think that this show attracts good quality visitors and it is also a very comfortable fair. Everyone we have spoken to has talked about real deals. After working here for over a decade, I have found new niche partners as well as partners wanting to work within our existing distribution network.
“After the first two days, I’ve met with people and companies from 20 different provinces in China as well as people from Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong and Indonesia – and none of these meetings were pre-arranged appointments.
“De Bortoli is not a classic attendee at fairs, but we will be back next year and we will take a bigger space. I have already talked to other wine brands who I think will also fit in and take advantage of the great position we have been given at this show next to the entrance to the exhibition.
“Next year we might do a Yarra Valley specific area and I will be asking mates of mine to join us. I really want to support Wine Australia as we have not been represented properly at this show in other years. It is important we all support this together.”
De Bortoli Wines GM of Sales for Greater China, Mat Bahen, hosts a tasting of Noble One with executives from ProWine China – Michael Degen (Executive Director), Marius Berlemann (ProWine Organiser) and Beattrice Ho (Messe Düsseldorf Singapore).