China is set to become the world’s second biggest wine market by 2020 when sales of still and sparkling wine are expected to reach $21bn, with the value of retail sales growing by 39.8% over the next three years, according to the CEO of the VINEXPO wine and spirit exhibition Guillaume Deglise.
China is already the fifth largest wine consuming country in the world and both the quantity and quality of that consumption is set to change. While the majority of Chinese wine consumers were traditionally unable to read French or English labels and therefore prone to pick up labels at random, the new major wine buyers are young, well-educated and middle class – and with a considerably more sophisticated palate. Last year French wines accounted for 42% of sales with Australia in second place and Spain coming up fast on the outside.
Overall sales for 2016 stood at more than one trillion yuan($1.5bn).