Why China Can’t Get Enough Australian Wine

It’s not New Zealand or the U.K. or the U.S. that imports the most Australian wine. It’s China. From June 2018 to June 2019, Australia exported $1.2 billion worth of wine to the Asiatic superpower, which is triple the value of wine bought by Australia’s second biggest wine importer, the United States. China’s enthusiasm for Australian wine is a phenomenon that can be explained by the novelty and quality of Australian wine, and China’s roaring economy.  

Top Wine Brands

After China supplanted the U.S. as Australian wine’s best customer, Chinese citizens were asked why Aussie wine was such a hot commodity in their country. They replied that Chinese people like wine that is famous, authentic, exciting, and strong. Australia, being one of the world’s biggest wine exporters, has products that check all those boxes. Thankfully we know exactly which of these products are most prevalent in Chinese web searches.

Red wine reigns supreme in China. All ten of the most-searched Australian wines by Chinese shoppers are red. And seven of them are Penfolds. Topping the list is Penfolds Bin 389, a Cabernet-Shiraz priced at $89 a bottle. Leading Australian wine brands that are popular in China include Irvine, Hunter Valley and Margaret River.

Growing Demand For Expensive Wines

Clearly, Chinese wine drinkers have expensive tastes. The more expensive the wine, the greater its selling power. Though the value of Australian wine exported to China increased by 7 percent between June 2018 and 2019, the volume decreased by 16 percent. This means that cheaper wines fell in favour compared to more expensive wines.

A growing middle and upper class, populated by millennials who love trying new things, is responsible for China`s strange but spectacular market of expensive Aussie wine. Beer and spirits are still the preferred beverages of older and less affluent Chinese drinkers. Increased availability of online shopping and international travel is another contributing factor to the discovery of Australian wine by Chinese residents. Additionally, China has its own thriving wine scene, so the market is not just open for Australian wine, but all wine. 

Penfolds, Irvine and many other Australian wines have taken China by storm. Chinese citizens are consuming so much of it that their country has become Australia`s number one wine importer. Should we be so surprised? Australia has some of the best wine in the world. Clearly, China is a great judge of quality.