A delegation of sixty California wineries, including Melville, Dierberg, Star Lane, Refugio Ranch, Coquelicot, and Pence Ranch from Santa Barbara County, will exhibit in Wine Institute’s California Pavilion at the first-ever ProWine China 2013 Trade Fair Nov. 13-15, 2013 at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre. The wineries will represent 110 brands and 32 American Viticultural Areas, and regional associations representing Napa Valley, Paso Robles and Santa Barbara County wine regions will have a presence in Wine Institute’s Pavilion at the sold-out trade show. Thousands of wine buyers are expected to attend.
China is the fifth largest market for California wine exports. In 2012, U.S. wine exports, 90% from California, reached $73.6 million to China, up over 18% from the previous year. U.S. wine exports year-to-date for the eight months Jan. - Aug. 2013 were up 4% by value to China compared to the same time period last year.
News reports say the China wine market is slowing because the Chinese central government began a new austerity program in 2012 that limits spending on gift giving and entertainment by government officials. A portion of private companies in China are also said to be adopting reductions in expenditures to fall in line with government policy.
“Despite the austerity measures, China remains one of the world’s fastest growing wine markets, and we are continuing to invest in our California Wines awareness program and a full slate of category building efforts,” said Linsey Gallagher, Wine Institute Vice President of International Marketing. U.S. wine exports to China, 90 percent from California, have grown dramatically by over 2700% in a decade, from $2.6 million in 2003 to $73.6 million in 2012.
Since 2000, Wine Institute has conducted annual trade missions to China and engaged a full-time marketing agency that has been in place in China for three years. The “California Wines Master Class” program launched last spring will be expanded to 25 cities throughout the country for trade and media covering history, climate, regions, varietals and food pairing. Wine Institute also sponsors several annual tours of California wine country for Chinese media and trade. These activities support Wine Institute’s California wines awareness-building campaign in China which includes retail and on-premise promotions, consumer events, advertising, point-of-sale and educational materials, a dedicated website www.discovercaliforniawines.com.cn and social media.
In support of its Asia marketing efforts, Wine Institute is hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Wine Regulatory Forum’s 2013 Technical Workshop in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 4-6, 2013. More than 130 wine regulators and stakeholders from 20 Pacific Rim governments will meet as part of the first year of a new five-year “Good Regulatory Practices Action Plan,” sponsored by the U.S. Government, to facilitate the wine trade among the Asia-Pacific countries.