It is unfortunate that Chinese wine drinkers seem to be deserting the produce of their own vineyards for imported alternatives. In my experience, the quality of the best Chinese wine has recently turned a corner — in the right direction. ….
There is one potential handicap, however. The countries that have had the most success in establishing export markets in the modern era have had a USP. New Zealand has carved a niche for the world’s most valuable per-bottle prices by offering uniquely, refreshingly fruity Sauvignon Blanc. Australia saw massive success with its friendly Chardonnay and rich Shiraz. Argentina has blitzed North America with its bold Malbec.
But Chinese vineyards are dominated by the red Cabernet and Merlot grapes that grow in abundance all over the wine world — not least in Bordeaux, which produces massive quantities of inexpensive examples every year, typically made by co-ops that do not have the debt that recent investors may be saddled with.
The reaction of many Chinese producers to market trends has been to acquire foreign vineyards and wineries. …. One thing seems sure: Chinese influence in the world of wine will only increase.
Jancis Robinson, “China’s strides in the wine race are yielding robust results“, Financial Times, 20 April 2017.
Janice Robinson writes a weekly column on wine for the Financial Times, and is editor of The Oxford Companion to Wine.
A much longer, ungated version of the column is available here.