I will bring more detail form inside of wine market in China. and of cause, my thinking on the wine from all wine regions to the Chinese consumer.
You are absolutely right about language, James; it's only by making that effort that you can come to understand a wine culture intimately. When I interviewed David, he said that he didn't in fact speak Italian when he arrived in Italy, but it was something that he had worked very hard at subsequently, first of all by using French (which many Piedmontese speak). Now his Italian is better than his French.
I might also add that I am hugely impressed by the ability of many of the young Chinese I meet in the wine trade to speak not just English but often other European languages, too. This is a compliment which Europeans should work hard to repay!
SINO AFRICA WINE
Thank You. You continue to deliver great articles. In my mind this is one of your best.
I will share this with my collegues and aquaintances in an effort for us to all get a greater understanding of this vast potential market.
Too often writers/ commentators paint Chinese wine consumers with the same brush.
My belief is New World wines give Chinese consumers, occasional and habitual, greater opportunity to explore and evolve in thier appreciation for wine.
For us going forward the age group offering the greatest growth opportubity are individuals born after 1990.
We all have a collective responsibility to guide consumers who are interested in or curious about wine.
My favorite take away comments:
"a unified ‘Chinese palate’ doesn’t exist"
"This is an immature market where consumers have very diverse understandings of wine"
Keep up the good work.
This experience also works the other way round, perhaps even more so. I entered the wine trade in a producer country, Spain. Then went back to Britain to work in the trade there.
There is one essential prerequisite that governs to what degree all you say works, Andrew: language. This is not usually Briton's strong point. A basic reason the fine-wine trade has not set-up in Mainland China and effectively stopped dead at 'the border' with Hong Kong, the market along with it, is language.
However, beyond knowledge of wine, local contacts, commercial routes etc., if we as trade professionals do not learn and observe the local language, or indeed that fount of richness, the dialect, we will never fully realise what we otherwise could.
I would be interested to know how language has shaped Mr Berry Green's experience.