China has been the fastest growing export market for Australian wine in recent years, and is now the third largest destination for bottled exports. In the 12 months to the end of March 2012, the value of bottled exports increased by 37% to AUD$192 million, the volume by 28% to 31 million litres, and the average value by 7% to AUD$6.11 per litre. Significantly, exports priced at over AUD$7.50 per litre rose 47% to AUD$84 million, putting China in first place in this category. Australian wine is now the second largest imported wine in China, with a 14% market share in value and 13% in volume.
For the most part consumers in China still have limited knowledge about wine, and invariably are drawn to French wine when making purchases, particularly of premium wine. This makes education very important, to trade, media and consumers.
This makes education very important, to trade, media and consumers. Consumers in first tier cities have more wine knowledge than those in second tier cities. They have a wider selection available and thus more chance to taste wines from all over the world. However, it is more and more obvious that the great potential lies in second tier cities, where consumers have increasing disposable income and are eager to learn how to appreciate wine.