News / Economy

California Winemakers Target China

California Winemakers Target Chinai
X
July 16, 2013 8:27 PM
American wine producers have their eyes on China, where a growing middle class is drinking European and American wines. The United States exported just $74 million in wine to China in 2012, but exports are growing at nearly 20 percent a year. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Napa Valley, California, where vintners hope to see California Cabernets on Chinese dinner tables.
Mike O'Sullivan
— American wine producers have their eyes on China, where a growing middle class is drinking wine. The United States exported just $74 million in wine to China in 2012, but exports are growing at nearly 20 percent a year.  Vintners in Napa Valley hope to see California Cabernets on Chinese dinner tables.

Producing Napa Valley wine is a highly skilled craft, and Chinese consumers are developing a taste for it, says Tom Hinde of Yao Family Wines, started by former Chinese basketball star Yao Ming.  

"We've made five vintages together," Hinde said. "Actually, we're working on the 2013 right here.  You can see that these grapes will be ripe sometime this fall, and we get to do it all over again.”

This is a small winery with a high-end product. Hinde strolls through its vineyards in Napa Valley, closely examining clusters of grapes.  He says all are Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, since the Chinese prefer red wine.  The winery's premium cabernet sells for $625 a bottle.

Napa's Black Stallion Winery also looks to China as a promising market, says the winery's Holly Evans.

“Most of our wine is sold here at the winery, although we do have two wines, a Black Stallion Estate Chardonnay and Cabernet, which are sold throughout the United States as well as in China,” she said.

Many moderately priced wines are also exported to China, including some from the San Antonio Winery in Los Angeles.  Fifteen percent of its production goes there.

Linsey Gallagher of The Wine Institute says the group receives constant inquiries.

“About 90 percent of those are coming in about China these days, and so it's a fascinating opportunity in China right now,” she said.

But she says China is a marketing challenge.

“They know a lot of the aspirational, iconic things about California, whether that's Hollywood in Southern California or the Golden Gate Bridge in Northern California or our previous governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger," she said. "By and large, they have no idea that California is the fourth largest wine producing region in the world and makes great quality wines at all price points.”

Winemakers hope to broaden the Chinese palate, and expand the market for fine dry wines, including whites, which are now a small part of the market.

Adam Beak of Bank of the West says the winemakers he works with are competing with European companies, which entered the China market decades ago.

“And they've developed a brand there.  They've developed a name, especially for the French companies on the fine wine side, they're developed a real strong market presence," he said. "The U.S. is still in its infancy.  We're still doing the basic pick and shovel work to get our name out there.”

Yet China's middle class is growing fast, and Tom Hinde of Yao Family Wines is optimistic that more Chinese consumers will develop a taste for imported wine.

“They'll want to drive certain cars, and they'll want to live in certain types of apartments and houses, and they'll want to wear certain clothes and enjoy certain types of wines,” he said.

And he hopes many of those wines will come from California.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
July 16, 2013 8:05 PM
So Chinese people already have been enjoyed wine imported from Europe. The challenges for Californian wine seems how it slashes into the marcket with its taste and price advantages.

In Japan, Californian wine as well as Chille and South African wine are recently getting more popular than French or Italian wine becasue they are a bit bitter and cheep.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7305
JPY
USD
101.53
GBP
USD
0.5830
CAD
USD
1.0656
INR
USD
60.075

Rates may not be current.