A record 61 Australian wine exhibitors showcased some of the country’s finest wines at China’s leading international wine and spirit expo ProWine China, from 12 to 14 November.
The scale of this three-day event has grown significantly over the past few years, attracting a 20,000-strong crowd of Chinese importers, distributors, suppliers and media from across the nation.
Australia’s expanded pavilion showcased more than 100 Australian wine brands from 25 wine regions, against a backdrop of some 800 wine producers from 37 countries.
Wine Australia CEO Andreas Clark said Australia’s increased presence at this year’s event was backed by the Australian Government’s $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package.
“ProWine China has become one of the biggest events in China’s calendar year and is considered a must-attend event for local wine trade, so it’s an ideal destination for Australian wine producers to connect with Chinese importers, distributors and suppliers,” he said.
“With the growth in China’s imported wine drinking population, there continues to be a high demand for event space from international exhibitors, so it’s important that Australia brings a strong presence that reinforces its position in this critical market and promotes high-quality business opportunities.”
In addition to Australia’s in-pavilion wine tastings, trade show-goers were able to participate in nine masterclasses to increase their knowledge and understanding of Australian wine in a fun and interactive setting.
Each masterclass focused on different wine varieties, regions and the winemaking process using the resources from Wine Australia’s comprehensive online education program – Australian Wine Discovered.
First-time exhibitor Janelle Zerk, winemaker at Z Wine, said, “Being my first time in China and at ProWine, I didn’t know what to expect. I was glad to have so much support and was proud to be a part of the Australian pavilion. In particular, I was pleasantly surprised to see the interest in high end authentic Barossa wines from the Chinese wine trade.”
Wines by Geoff Hardy CEO Richard Dolan said, “We had at least four solid leads per day and secured a container trial order with a large supermarket chain.
“The deal started with an introduction from the Department for Trade, Tourism and Investment South Australia, however, ultimately being in market and face-to-face with the client is what got us over the line. We will be back next year for sure.”
Andrew La Nauze, winemaker at Oxford Landing Estates, said, “ProWine brings a diverse and high-quality crowd from all over China and, for me, it’s really important being on the ground and face-to-face with the distributors. We’ve had some solid leads and meetings set up already.”
Malcolm Leask, managing director of Hither & Yon said, “ProWine is great exposure for us and very convenient to gather existing trade partners as well as meeting new customers in one place. We’ve picked up high-quality leads, and the value of media exposure from the masterclass was a cherry on top.”
In addition to ProWine China, the well-known Decanter wine tasting event returned to Shanghai on 16 November, with the sixth edition of its Shanghai Fine Wine Encounter.
Wine Australia partnered with Decanter at this year’s event to showcase the quality and diversity of Australian wines in the ‘feature country’ room at the Grand Tasting. The room showcased some of Australia’s fine wines, as determined by Langton’s Classification, as well as some excellent examples of the country’s rising stars; wines to watch and those likely to be classics of the future.
Wine Australia also presented a masterclass led by Huon Hooke, joint regional chair for Australia at Decanter World Wine Awards. The master class, titled ‘Heritage, Place and Grace – Evolving Australian Classics’, introduced nine wines from the Outstanding and Exceptional tiers of the Langton’s Classification.