Australia's First Families of Wine, a group of 12 of Australia's leading family-owned wineries, is taking the growing Chinese market very, very seriously.
AFFW members are heading to Hong Kong to participate in Wine Australia’s feature program at Vinexpo 2018, then staying on in the region to be part of Wine Australia’s China Roadshow 2018.
Vinexpo is the primary industry event for wine and spirit specialists in the Asia-Pacific region and AFFW will have the opportunity to feature new products whilst networking with importers, distributors and sommeliers and telling their various vinous tales.
The Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre will host Vinexpo Asia 2018 from May 29-31 and the China Roadshow 2018; a tour that connects Australian wine exhibitors with influential Chinese importers, distributors, wholesalers and media in the four key cities of Shenyang, Wuhan, Jinan and Shanghai runs from June 4-11.
Australia is ‘Country Of Honour’ at this year’s Vinexpo exhibition and this year sees a five-fold increase in floor space for Australian wine compared to Vinexpo Hong Kong 2016.
The Australian contingent will showcase of 140 exhibitors representing over 35 wine regions. The 12 families of AFFW will be featured together, under their own banner, as part of the larger Australian contingent.
Among the range of educational masterclasses featuring throughout Vinexpo will be AFFW’s signature tasting, named UNLOCKED, a panel masterclass tasting featuring the wines that have put AFFW’s families on the map.
These include the 2005 Tyrrell’s Vat 1 Semillon; 1999 Tahbilk 1860 Vines Shiraz; 2008 Henschke Hill of Grace and Campbells Merchant Prince Rare Rutherglen Muscat.
While a familiar concept at home, this is the first time that UNLOCKED has been presented outside of Australia. The AFFW panel will feature different generations of the families and each will share the history, provenance and stories behind their families and the wines that they craft.
Similarly, the China Roadshow 2018 will offer AFFW the opportunity to network with important Chinese importers and media.
Thanks in part to the recent free trade agreement, Australian wine exports to China have surged 63% in 2017 to $848 million - more than total sales to the United States and United Kingdom combined.
AFFW Chairman Bruce Tyrrell from the Hunter Valley’s Tyrrells Wines, believes the boom will continue.
“China remains Australia’s largest export market and is still showing strong growth at all price points," he said.
"Importantly it is growing at the higher price points. Australia is best placed to continue to grow in China as they like our styles and we are seen as a close and safe destination for tourism. Tourism gives our industry that opportunity to convert these visitors into Australian converts and have a thorough understanding of our premium wine offering.”
The 12 members of AFFW are: Brown Brothers, Campbells, d’Arenberg, De Bortoli Wines, Henschke, Howard Park, Jim Barry Wines, McWilliam’s Wines, Tahbilk, Taylors, Tyrrell’s Wines and Yalumba.