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English>>China Business

Grape expectations from Argentina (6)

By Zhou Siyu  (China Daily)

14:22, September 03, 2012

Since the partnership was formed in 2011, sales of Catena Zapata's wine have increased steadily, Crotta said. "We are working closely in China to avoid infringements of our wine," he added.

People with experience in the industry, however, do not encourage winemakers to concentrate on China's big cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. "Competition in first-tier cities such as Beijing and Shanghai is very fierce. There is only limited space for a newcomer such as Argentine wine," said Antonio Mompo from Wines of Argentina.

With nine years of industry experience in China's market, Mompo was convinced that the real business potential for the wine industry lies in China's emerging second- and third-tier cities, where increasing disposable income enabled the residents to try some affordable foreign wine.

"Rutini's success is very telling - just one province in China is enough to push up its sales," Mompo said. "China is a continent in terms of business strategies. It is very complicated and all its submarkets are very important," he added.

Submarkets, in the meantime, may also have lower thresholds. It does not require a big brand promotion to enter these markets, which means there are opportunities for small wineries. Krontiras is a small winery in Mendoza and this year it managed to send a container of premium wine to an importer in Northwest China's Shaanxi province.

"This is our first container to China. We hope this could lead to something and we are very optimistic," said Thanassis Vafiadis, manager at the winery.

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