WINE FROM CHINA’S NINGXIA REGION IS MAKING INROADS INTO FRANCE
By David Ma
China’s Ningxia wine region has recently exported 11,870 liters of wine to France, its biggest ever batch of wine export to a EU country, according to the official China News Service (CNS).
This latest success in wine exports is hailed as a step closer for the Ningxia region, dubbed Bordeaux of China, to become a full-blown wine exporting area.
The 2,337 cases of bottled wines were produced by the Ningxia winery of COFCO Great Wall Wine Company, which is China’s second biggest wine producer capable of producing about 50,000 tonnes of wines annually.
The CNS report said that all the cases have been cleared by the French custom and the company is in the process if filing for declaration of a next batch to be sent to France. However, there is no mentioning of the volume of this second batch.
Ningxia started exporting wines to the European Union in 2012, but until now the orders were sporadic and in small quantities, according to the report.
It is said that the exporter has sought advice from officials of their local customs bureau to make sure product quality and labelling will meet EU standards.
COFCO Great Wall is China’s second biggest wine producer after Chang Yu. Since 2016,COFCO Great Wall has focused on the mid-to-high-end market to avoid fierce competition with imported products in the entry level market.
Ningxia is an autonomous region for minority people in north central China bordering Inner Mongolia. Since the first winery was opened here in 1985, areas under vines have expanded at staggering speed and reached 39,300ha in 2014. The local government’s target is for it to reach 67,000ha by 2020.
Given the wine region’s speedy expansion and the fierce competition presented by imported wines in the China market, it’s understandable that major Ningxia producers like COFCO Great Wall are under pressure to find export markets for their products.
(the writer can be contacted at: DavidMa@thewinechronicle.com)
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