Issue # Three - June 2013

The Chinese wine market: “tempting but risky” for French producers

China and Hong Kong, according to La revue du vin de France (RVF), have become the third largest market for French wine after the U.K. and U.S. 2012 marked a moderate deceleration of growth, however, due to overstocking by importers, which in turn raises possible questions about storage conditions. 

RVF points out that trademark protection is “indispensable” to avoid the risk of counterfeiting in China. The issue of poor translation on labels is also mentioned as it can lead to unintended meanings.  Hélène Hovasse of Ubifrance, assigned to support French exporters, warns that charging much higher prices in China than elsewhere can easily be uncovered with an internet search. “Selling too expensively,” she says, “is like shooting yourself in the foot” and cannot be corrected after the fact. China’s vineyard surface has increased by 20% in four years, but high-end wines are imported. Restaurants which list foreign wines do not serve Chinese wines, they note. Imported wine represents one-fifth of all consumption, and France accounts for half of imports – or 10% of all wine consumed per RVF.


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