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Chinese wineries seeking acceptance at London fair


08:20, May 21, 2013

LONDON, May 20 (Xinhua) -- The 33rd London International Wine Fair opened at ExCel here on Monday morning.

Running until Wednesday, the event attracted 450 exhibitors from around the world, with 3,000 to 4,000 wines on display, according to Will Broadfoot, Marketing Director of the fair.

"We also have a dozen Chinese exhibitors and hopefully we could see more next year," he told Xinhua, adding that Chinese wines were becoming more popular.

One of the Chinese exhibitor was the Inner Mongolia Hansen Winery Group Co., Ltd. Bruno Paumard, winemaker and export director of the company, said they came to show the world "we can make good wine in China... Our Chinese market was good, but we would like to promote our global image," he said.

Paumard was a Frenchman who have worked in China for eight years. "The climate in Inner Mongolia was suitable for the growth of grape," he noted.

Among the first batch of wineries to the fair, Hansen brought six kinds of their products and aimed at looking for an importer.

Many visitors appeared interested in their wines and Paumard said they have already received 30 visitors within just a couple of hours after opening of the fair.

Martin Nielson, Managing Director of Evotech Capital, said he was "impressed" by the wine. "I haven't tried Chinese wine before, so I wanted to try some and compare with others. I like the first taste."

Neilson said he would keep in touch with Hansen, and they might seek cooperation in the future.

The Sichuan office of Chinese Council for the Promotion of International Trade brought three kinds of liquor, or Baijiu, to the fair for the second time.

"We were here last year, but we found that the knowledge of Westerners about Chinese Baijiu so limited. We definitely have a long way to go," said Zhang Wanhua, director of the office.

Baijiu was part of the Chinese culture, she noted. "In the past we only sell the liquor inside China, with less pressure from competition. But now we have realized that expanding the foreign market has become a must."

Western wineries are exploring Chinese markets as well.

Raymond Morin is a French wine brand with a history of about 150 years. It marched into the Chinese market in recent years, being sold in French restaurants in big cities like Shenzhen and Shanghai, although not in a big volume. Each year, four containers were delivered to China.

Erzsebet Farkas, export manager of Tokaji in Hungary, said that their wine was sold in Beijing. The wine was made of grape, but of a unique and sweeter taste. "We look forward to further expanding our market there," she said.

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