China's wine market is maturing, with the customers diversifying their tastes from costly wines to cheaper ones, and Bordeaux plans to promote mid-range wine in the Chinese mainland to grab more market share in the future, Georges Haushalter, the president of Bordeaux Wine Council has said.
Attending the four-day Wine and Dine Festival held in Hong Kong starting on Thusday, Haushalter told Xinhua that many Chinese wine collectors used to buy Bordeaux wines through Hong Kong, the global auction center for fine wines, and pushed up the prices for Bordeaux wines.
However, the market cooled quite a bit recently, he said, adding that it is a normal process in a maturing market. "People start to realize there are not only five, but 10,000 chateaux in Bordeaux. This diversified their choices."
The current average price of Bordeaux wine per bottle in Hong Kong is 21 euros (about 27 U.S. dollars), almost three times than the 7.4 euros of the global average price, Haushalter said, while it is 5.1 euros in the Chinese mainland.
He said the growth potential for Bordeaux wines in the Chinese mainland market is "huge", and although Bordeaux represents 60 percent of imported wine on the mainland, the whole scale of imported wine market is still very small.
"What we want to do is to help the Chinese customers learn about wines, so that they can discover new chateaux and diversify their tastes," Haushalter said, adding the main strategy for Bordeaux in the future will be focusing on the mid-range wines in the mainland market.
In addition, some mainlanders' passion for Bordeaux wines has broadened from buying bottled wines to the chateaux, Haushalter said.
There were only two chateaux owned by the Chinese in Bordeaux three years ago, while now there are 30, with 25 transactions having taken place over the past two years, he said.
"I have met some of the Chinese owners, and they are really passionate about Bordeaux wines. They are also wise businessmen, because they see the potential of wine market, and take good care of their chateaux to provide more diversified products to the Chinese market," he said.
"It is a wise business decision based on passion."
According to data provided by the Bordeaux Wine Council, over the past year, the overall export value of Bordeaux wines has hit a record high at 2.3 billion euros, and among which, the export to the Chinese mainland rose 38 percent year-on-year to 354 million euros, right after the United Kingdom and surpassing Hong Kong for the first time.
In terms of volume, the mainland bought 55 percent more wines to 15 million bottles, ranking the first and exceeding Germany, the second largest importer of Bordeaux wines by over 90 percent.