China is ripe for French wine producers
By Chen Qide (China Daily Shanghai Bureau)
Updated: 2010-08-30 17:48

The Bergerac vineyards, a key player in French wine, is elbowing their way into the Chinese market by offering an exceptional variety of wines and flavors.

"China is a big potential market for grape wine, expected to become the world's seventh largest wine consumer," said Ophelie Dijon, representative of Les Vins de Bergerac in China.

The vineyards, located on the banks of the Dordogne with an area of 12,800 hectares, produce different varieties of grape for blended wines. Its yearly wine output reaches 86 million bottles with 56 percent red wine, 39 percent white and five percent rose, said Dijon.

About 15 percent of the wine is exported to Britain, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. Bergerac sold about 400,000 bottles of wine to China in 2009, she said.

"But it is not enough for such a big market," Dijon said, adding that Bergerac will take measures to enlarge its sales network in China.

China is estimated to consume 1.26 billion bottles of wine by 2013, up 32 per cent over 2009, becoming the world's seventh largest country consumer, according to a report from the International Wine and Spirit Record.

Many wine producers from the USA, France, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Chile and Romania have launched campaigns in China to promote their wine.

French wine is expected to increase by nine per cent this year to reach 4.57 million kilolitres, providing a big source for the Chinese market, she said.