China Spawns A Million Millionaire Wine Lovers

chneseHere’s a mind-boggling statistic:

The number of Chinese millionaires increased fivefold in just six years. (It’s now just shy of the million mark.)

Holy cow! This country just emerging from decades of anti-capitalist rule has seen millionaires multiply like rabbits.

Except that rabbits don’t drink wine. Here’s another amazing statistic:

The country’s consumption of imported wine quadrupled between 2005 and 2009, and is expected to climb another 56 percent by 2014.

Wow! So this is what happens when an entire demographic (upwardly mobile, young- to middle-aged Chinese businesspeople) decides they want to share all the perks and signs of conspicuous wealth that are enjoyed by millionaires everywhere.

And I’m all for it. There have been many stories about the growing pains the nascent Chinese wine industry has experienced (see these recent stories in my blog).

At first, Bordeaux was the wine in favor, and some French winemakers stepped up to take their share of the market (read Decanter.com’s good story about Lafite-Rothschide’s wooing of Chinese wine drinkers).

Now it seems that Australian wineries stand to make out like crazy from China’s craze for imported wine. Read this story from Alder Yarrow’s great wine blog, Vinography, about Australian wine giant Penfold’s. They recently unveiled Australia’s most expensive wine ever, and they did it, not on their home turf, but in Shanghai. I guess the Chinese thirst for vino promises such huge rewards that Aussie winemakers will go to great lengths to win their favor.

Who knows what’s next? I’ll be on the look-out for the latest developments, so stay tuned… Cheers!

 

 

 

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