China's wine production set to overtake Australia's in next three years

Beijing, Jan 25 (ANI): China has made so much progress in the field of wine production that analysts believe the country could overtake Australia in the next three years, a new industry report said.

A report by French wine exhibition organisers Vinexpo shows China produced 72 million cases of wine in 2009, up 28 per cent from the previous year, reports.

According to Denis Gastin, a commercial wine writer who regularly travels to China, the increase was driven by growth in the Chinese domestic market.

"Some Chinese labels have exhibited internationally and sold a tiny amount of wine. ut that is not the focus of the industry at the moment. The motivation was more to show Chinese drinkers local growers could compete internationally," he said.

Gastin further said that if the Chinese industries continue to produce wine, mainly red wine, at this pace, the country will produce 128 million cases of wine in 2012, an increase of 77 percent that would see it overtake Australia's forecast of 121 million.

"Domestic demand for wine in China is growing so rapidly the local production is only just keeping up," he added.

He also said that rising incomes and wine's image in China were responsible for the increased popularity and quality of wine, and added that wine is now being viewed as a status symbol among the middle class sections in the country.

"Essentially there has been a style dimension, it's a modern drink, when people go out they want to be seen to drink a specific type of wine. The volume of domestic wine used to be pitched at the lower-income drinking public but the market has moved past that now," Gastin said.

Though the country's consumption per head rate is still less compared to other nations, increasing demand combined with the country's population of 1.3 billion indicates that it could one day become one of the world's biggest wine markets, the report said. (ANI)

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