Australia’s First Families of Wine (AFFW) hosted seventeen events across seven days, with representatives from the twelve families that make up the AFFW heading to Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. The move into China was aimed at engaging with the Chinese to talk about the history and provenance of Australia’s premium wines and iconic vineyards. They did this with a range of media, trade and VIP tastings, food matching events and structured educational master classes.. All families say they were extremely happy with the response they got in China.
Read more about the methods of how businesses are reaching the Chinese market here.
“Our Chinese launch was an overwhelming success,” said AFFW Chairman, Mitchell Taylor. “Our program was gruelling but all members rose to the challenge, telling their family history and stories whilst presenting a range of flagship wines from our iconic vineyards. The Chinese audience was fascinated and impressed by our wines – and our tales. The quality Aussie wine message was delivered loud and clear!”
The New Frontier
The AFFW’s decision to advance into the Chinese market has been spurred onward by their own independent research, as well as authoritative wine bodies such as Wine Australia, but also by on the ground experience in the market. Many see China as the new frontier of premium wine drinkers and AFFW has plans to return in the next 12 – 18 months. There’s a belief that the wine families are only scratching the surface in China. There are also plans to return in the future to continue telling other wine and family stories to a growing and curious audience of increasingly sophisticated drinkers.
Getting Support for Growth
One of the wine families hoping to cash in on China is Tahbilk who along with Kilikanoon, Penfolds, Tyrrell’s and Hentley Farm are now regarded as members of the elite.
Established in 1860, Tahbilk is south of Nagambie and comprises 1214km of river flats with a frontage of 11km to the Goulburn River and 8km of permanent backwaters and creeks. Purchased by the Purbrick family in 1925, the vineyard has about 200ha under vine which includes the rare French Rhone Valley whites of Marsanne, Viognier and Roussanne; and the Rhone reds — Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvedre.
The wine producer is also priviliged to have earned a recommendations from the ‘top four’ wine critics in the world, as well as the introduction of the Wine Companion into the Middle Kingdom will all add up in a nation where credibility and history counts. Getting recommendations from the ‘top four’ wine critics in the world, can move thousands of cases. Included in the marketing drive will be exports to China, where a version of the well respected Wine Companion will appear soon.