We all know that the Chinese wine market has boomed over the last few years, but recently there has been rumours abounding that demand has been decreasing after the boom of 2009-11. Let's investigate the data.
According to International Wine and Spirit Research (IWSR), the Chinese drank 160 million cases of wine in 2011, a 142 per cent increase from 2007. The IWSR also predicts that this number will increase by another 40 per cent in the next three years.
As a side note, incredibly, 99.5 per cent of wine consumed in China in 2011 was red, white or rose. That means that only 0.5 per cent was sparkling, a statistic that will surely be utilised by the big Champagne brands - Cristal, Krug, Bollinger etc. - in the next few years.
Chinese drinkers now drink 1.4 litres of wine per year, a small amount but far higher than it was five years ago. Per capita consumption is due to increase to 2.1 litres by 2016. Interestingly, 92 per cent of wine consumed is red. White wine is on the rise, but has a long way to go before it catches up with the reds.
China's favourite source of imported wines is still France, which saw its sales multiply sixfold between 2007 and 2011. French wine now accounts for 48 per cent of the total volume of imported wine drunk in China.
Chinese home-grown wine is also on the rise. There are now 450 wine producers in the country. The Ningxia in particular is making headlines all over the world with its fantastic wines
Capital Vintners keeps a close eye on the Chinese wine market. Follow us on Twitter for the latest wine news @CapitalVintners.