New Zealand is in a fantastic position to begin capturing the imagination of China’s aspirational consumers according to one of China’s highly respected wine experts.
Fongyee Walker, international guest judge at this year’s Hawke’s Bay A & P Mercedes Benz Wine Awards suggests that as China’s market grows she hopes to see a greater growing appreciation for the high quality and diversity of New Zealand wine.
Ms Walker said it was central that New Zealand’s wine industry was patient when approaching the untapped potential of the Chinese market.
“As a market, China is still very immature, and selling sustainably in China requires hard work and graft from importers and from wineries.”
Ms Walker is looking forward to sharing her visit to Hawke’s Bay in September back in China, looking at the diversity and development of region’s wines.
“What really attracts me to New Zealand is the balance between lovely refreshing acidity and full fruit flavours that I find very attractive and particularly good with many different Chinese foods.
“As a judge, I am very interested in the wide range of wines produced from Hawke’s Bay and I want to understand more about the region so I can recommend it as a beautiful place to escape the pollution or to find some of my particularly favourite, syrah.”
“The ripeness, softer yet still refreshing acidity of Hawke’s Bay’s whites, the structure of the region’s reds with ripe tannins and good fruit, yet elegant structure, are great attributes for Chinese wine consumers.”
“I’d like to use my experience to explain and introduce Hawke’s Bay wines more to my friends, students and clients,” she says.
Ms Walker believes Chinese consumers seemed to be pleased with New Zealand wines, and the degree of warmth in Hawke’s Bay wines is very attractive.
“When I show Hawke’s Bay wines to my students, I get very positive feedback on the whole – particularly for the more premium wines.”
“You need good ambassadors who are willing to travel and talk about the positive attributes of the region.”