Particularly pleasing for me was the slow but steady growth that seems to be happening in the mid-price wine market. China, and in fact the greater East Asian market has a very strong top and bottom end market, but it is in the middle where the majority of the world’s interesting producers and wines lie. To those of us in the wine industry, they of course represent the types of wines we most commonly buy and drink ourselves too, so to me they are a great indicator of the maturing of the market as these are the wines for the enthusiasts, those interested in exploring the world of wine. Happily, this growth appears to be down to the younger generation of consumers and wine industry professionals in the region which bodes well for continued growth, increased diversity for the consumer and the subsequent growth in opportunities for different regions and styles which have found the going tough in the past.
I tried a lot of interesting wines from Portugal from the blockbusting, take no prisoners style of the Brutalis from Vidigal Wines, named after a Rhino if I remember correctly, and a bit like drinking a charging Rhino – big and full of vigor, to the always elegant excellence of the wines from Quinta do Crasto in the Douro valley. Port fans should look out for their new(ish) release of a very limited edition, very old vintage port which I will write more about another time.
As I mentioned earlier, there was a significant Australian presence at the show, but given the success of Australian wines in the Chinese market in recent years, this was to be expected. What did surprise me however, was the number of very elegant, well-crafted wines I tried from Australia at the show. I tasted some great wines from producers like Domaine Naturaliste in Margaret River, Dalwhinnie in Victoria, Bremerton Wines from Langhorne Creek and some impressive Pinot Noirs from the fantastically named 10 Minutes By Tractor and Paringa Estate wineries in Mornington Peninsular. Elegant, understated winemaking is nothing new in Australia or course, but the confidence of these producers in the Chinese market understanding them again reinforces the continued maturation of the consumer market in China. Exciting times ahead!
If you want to find any of these wines, or get some more information, just get in touch and can either connect you, or point you in the right direction.
See you at the next ProWine!