China / Society

Guizhou wine fair becomes big attraction to chateau owners

By Ye Jun ( Updated: 2012-12-10 22:30

European wine makers flocked to the 2nd China-Guizhou International Alcoholic Beverages Expo, which was recently held in Guiyang, hoping to take advantage of China's huge market potential.

Chateau owners usually don't travel in September, because it is harvest month. However, this year, 46 Spanish chateau owners attended the event.

"September is the most important time of the year, it's like the birth of a baby, because the level of sugar in the grape has to be just right," said Alberto Fernandez Martinez, owner of Artesanos Del Vino. "But the expo is more important. It's a fantastic chance to share our products."

Along with three other chateau owners, Fernandez presented his wines at the Guizhou Liquor Exchange, a platform to trade wine and liquor like shares, which formally opened on Sept 6.

Spain is China's fourth-largest wine exporter, taking up 5.98 percent of the market.

Ten of the Spanish chateaus are listed on the Guizhou Liquor Exchange under Hong Kong-based company Fionson Wine.

All of the 46 family-owned chateaus are aimed at the middle and top segments of the market.

Fernandez' company is famous for Cava, the Spanish sparkling wine.

Meanwhile, Benoit Tomas, export area sales manager of French chateau Pape Clement, said that he is looking for a "niche market" in China.

"In big cities such as Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou, you have a lot of competition. But Guizhou has big potential," he said.

Tomas represents Bernard Magrez, one of the largest chateau owners in the world.

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