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Changyu's export-oriented ViniPanda wines on display at the 2013 China National Sugar and Alcoholic Commodities Fair in Chengdu. Provided to China Daily
Wines produced at Changyu's three new chateaus in western China are expected to drive the company's wine business to a new high, said Zhou Hongjiang, general manager of the premium vintner.
The wines from Chateau Changyu Baron Balboa in Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, Chateau Changyu Moser XV in Ningxia Hui autonomous region and Chateau Changyu Reina in Shaanxi province made their debuts at the just-concluded 2013 China National Sugar and Alcoholic Commodities Fair in Chengdu.
Expert and author Robert Joseph confirmed the quality of the new vintages after a wine tasting at the Changyu booth.
He noted their flavor is similar to typical French wines and said Changyu has developed into an international-class wine producer.
To ensure quality, Changyu has teamed with the world's most-prestigious chateaus and employed experienced winemakers from its overseas partners such as the Moser Family in Austria and the Reina Family in Italy, said Li Jiming, chief engineer of Changyu.
"Both the Moser Family and the Reina Family have rich experience in wine making and grape growing. Their techniques help enhance wine quality," said Li, adding that is why the new products have a bit more exotic flavors.
In addition to the three chateau wines, an export-oriented wine named ViniPanda was also showcased at the fair. Bearing a panda on its trademark, it has been welcomed by Europeans after arriving on shelves in Europe last November.
According to International Wine & Spirit Research, Chinese consumers bought 2.16 billion bottles of wine last year, 2.7 times as many as in 2007. It predicts the number will hit 3.02 billion in 2016.
The huge market potential has drawn the attention of overseas wine traders as they seek cooperation with Chinese winemakers to enter the market. Changyu became their first choice.
At the Chengdu fair, global wine traders including Group GCF and AdVini from France and JGC Corp in Spain joined with Changyu to promote their products.
Michel Richard, general manager of GCF China, said that the company has introduced 20 kinds of wines to China in cooperation with Changyu.
The products are from famed production areas in France including Bordeaux, the Rhone, Languedoc and Roussillon.
According to their agreement, Changyu is the exclusive Chinese distributor that bears the trademarks of high-end wines produced at overseas chateaus.
The association has benefited both sides, expanding marketing channels to increase sales worldwide and enhancing their brand awareness in a wide range of markets.
Changyu wines are now sold in 28 countries and regions around the world. Last August, Waitrose, the sixth-largest retailer in the UK, began to sell Changyu in its chain of supermarkets, a landmark for the Chinese wine industry.
On March 24, Changyu joined in ProWein, a leading international fair in Dsseldorf for the wine and spirits sector, showcasing wines made in Yantai, Ningxia, Xinjiang, Shaanxi and Beijing.
Changyu is the only Asian wine brand among the World's Most Admired Wine Brands 2013 list compiled by industry publication Drinks International.
(China Daily 04/03/2013 page7)