Business / Industries

Australian wine gains in popularity

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-04-05 10:09

Australian wine gains in popularity

Wines displayed in la Bordeauxthéque at its grand opening party, in the newly-launched French department store Galeries Lafayette, in Beijing on Feb 27, 2014. [Photo/]

Australian wines are becoming increasingly popular overseas, with the Chinese market growing considerably in recent years.

Statistics from Wine Australia show exports to China increased by 66 percent in 2015, to 370 million Australian dollars ($281 million), with red wine by far the drink of choice.

Mitchell Taylor, managing director and third-generation winemaker from Taylors Wines, said his company had been exporting its wines to China for more than 30 years.

"The beauty of dealing in the Chinese market is that they understand quality," Taylor said.

"Chinese consumers really understand the flavor profile that comes from a country like Australia."

Taylor said the growing trend in pairing wines with Chinese cuisine, noting that the influx of Chinese and European immigrants had triggered a shift in the "beer drinking culture".

"Cantonese food goes exceptionally well with our very good Clare Valley Rieslings that have lovely lime citrus flavors," he said.

Taylor's grandfather was labeled as "crazy" for attempting to plant 178 hectares of Cabernet Sauvignon in 1969, as during that time most of the wines were either fortified or like ports.

In 1973, when the first vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon came through, the wine won numerous medals.

"It actually won a gold medal in every single wine show that it was put in around the country, and then in the Adelaide wine show, it won the trophy for the best red wine that was awarded for the lovely style of the wine, so it was a great way to enter the wine industry," Taylor noted.

The company's logo of three seahorses, which surrounds all of its bottles, was born when his grandfather began to dig a dam to irrigate its first vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon.

"As we got into that limestone, there was actually lots of fossilized seahorses so they were like a good luck charm of the business and the prosperity of a fertile land that was there, so of course we made the symbol and it sits proudly on every bottle of Taylors Wines today," Taylor said.

He added that families suit the wine industry well.

"It doesn't happen overnight, and quite often corporations get very frustrated because their share price cannot be made overnight and you've got to make a lot of decisions that have long-term implications," Taylor said.

"When we plant a variety in the vineyard, it almost takes 10 years from that planting to come through to be a successful wine to be sold in the market, so you've got to make these very strategic family decisions, that are almost generational, so a lot of the hardwork we're doing today, is really for the benefit of the future generations."

Taylor said he has seen a sharp increase in Chinese consumers' wine knowledge over the years.

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