Actress ZHAO Wei (Vicky) used her superstar status to launch her prestigious Bordeaux wines on the Chinese mass market online shop Tmall.com, featuring both high end and affordable offerings.
Image: Zhao Wei (right four) at Tmall launch
The debut of the wines, which range in price from RMB168 up to RMB2,000 in China, was marked by a glitzy event in the lakeside city of Hangzhou and a small-scale private tasting in Beijing.
The move adds another star to the Chinese celebrity wine brands, including those owned by former basketball player YAO Ming and movie star Carina Lau.
A select group of wine writers – including a DecanterChina.com writer – and wine collectors were hosted at a private tasting at an exclusive venue in Beijing on 20 October, which also featured a gourmet meal.
To add oenophile heft to the campaign, Zhao brought along the chief winemaker, Jean de Cournuaud, who was on hand to offer more detailed explanations of the wines to connoisseurs.
The online launch led to a flood of orders for the wines, and a prediction from Zhao that the Chateau Monlot label would prove to be hugely popular in China.
‘It is getting more important in the Chinese lifestyle,’ Zhao told DecanterChina.com. ‘It is great to share wine with friends, it is something I do all the time.’
Zhao, who is listed by Forbes magazine as a US dollar billionaire and the world’s wealthiest working actress, bought the St Emilion Grand Cru five years ago, and hired a wine-maker from Chateau Petrus to help upgrade the production.
Until now, Zhao had made no effort to sell the wines in China, giving out bottles to friends and associates, rather than pushing it commercially.
Image: Zhao Wei and Chateau Monlot winemaker Jean de Cournuaud at private wine tasting in Beijing © Mark Graham
But the entrepreneurially-minded star realised that the increasingly-sophisticated wine China market would be enthusiastic about what the winery is offering.
As a gesture to reach out to the mass consumers, ‘we have created a very affordable selection exclusively on Tmall.com for everyday drinking,’ besides the high-end and more age-worthy series, the actress told local media at the launch ceremony.
The multi-talented star is about to embark on her second movie as a director; her first venture was a box-office smash.
*Stay tuned for more details from Decanter’s exclusive interview with the actress and Bordeaux chateau proprietor.
Translated by Sylvia Wu / 吴嘉溦
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