The Asia Effect

It’s now becoming such a fact in the wine world that I’ll be very reticent to post much news about it in the future, but in case you haven’t noticed, wine is becoming huge in Asia. First of all, you have the staggering size of production going on in the region. Who knew that China was the world’s 6th largest wine producer, producing more than Germany, South Africa, Chile, Austria, or New Zealand? A recent trade partnership between China and Chile, and talks of Chinese investment in the Chilean wine industry indicate China’s interest in participating in the global wine market, not to mention hint at increasing demand. Experts predict healthy 20% annual growth rates in consumption as more Chinese, Singaporean and Indian consumers opt for wine. The Japanese have always been big wine consumers, but I recently learned that they are the largest consumers of Beaujolais Nouveau in the world, passing even the United States and Britain in their imports of the fresh purple stuff.

And in case anyone in California thinks the Asia Effect is something that’s happening elsewhere in the world, we’re already seeing co-investment, collaboration, and consulting start happening between China and Napa.

What will happen when China and India can make wine that is as good as Yellow Tail and as easily available? The answer is: scary things. Let’s just say I wouldn’t be investing in the Australian wine market anytime soon. The late 80’s saw the Asian Economic Boom. The late 00’s will see the Asian Wine Boom. Mark my words.