SA wine exports to China double

Friday, 12 July, 2013
Matthew Hirsch, Business Report
SA wine exports to China have more than doubled since 2007 to over 4 million litres in 2011 – and the word is that the Chinese love our pinotage.
Western Cape Department of Agriculture officials are in China this week to promote South African wines.

“Figures for the first five months of 2013 already show a 53 percent increase for total exports, compared to the same period last year,” the department said.

According to Andre Morgenthal, of Wines of South Africa, South Africa exports more red wine than white to China.

“Pinotage is particularly popular in the Asian market because it is unique to South Africa and goes well with spicy food,” he said.

“It’s about the label and the price. South Africa has been exporting wine to China for more than 10 years but has been growing as the younger generation aspires to a Western lifestyle.”

Morgenthal said China was still very much an emerging market and that South Africa was trying to figure out the market.

He said a lot of the South African wine in China gets sold through “corporate gifting, word of mouth, and people who sell directly to consumers”.

“It’s about prestige and the wine is very much award-driven.”

Hein Koegelenberg, of Leopard’s Leap and La Motte in Franschhoek, said China’s population of 1.3 billion meant there was big potential there.

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