China Emerges as a Promising Market for Europe’s Wine Industry
China Emerges as a Promising Market for Europe’s Wine Industry

China Emerges as a Promising Market for Europe’s Wine Industry

Europe’s wine cellars are overflowing, while China’s growing demand for wine offers a ray of hope, according to Slovak winemaker Eduard Sebo in a recent conversation with Xinhua.

Sebo pointed out that dwindling demand across Europe has resulted in declining prices, posing a significant threat to the continent’s wine industry. Consequently, vineyards are being uprooted, and local wine producers are being compelled to transform wine into alternative products, such as alcohol for disinfectants, or explore new markets.

On the flip side, wine consumption and production are experiencing a surge in China. Sebo shared this insight after participating in a recent wine competition, part of the 2023 China-Central and Eastern European Countries Wine Culture Festival held in Cangzhou, located in northern China’s Hebei Province.

During the festival, approximately 320 wines from 20 winemakers representing 16 countries were evaluated by three panels of judges, with nearly half of the entries originating from China. Sebo’s winery achieved recognition by clinching a gold medal for its Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains variety.

Highlighting the remarkable growth in wine consumption in China over the past 15 years, which has risen from a mere 0.02 liters per capita to 2.2 liters per capita, Sebo expressed great optimism for Europe’s struggling wine producers.

Wine competitions have a rich tradition in Europe, and Sebo conceived the idea of comparing European wines with the evolving varieties produced in China a couple of years ago, with the aim of promoting these products among Chinese consumers. He initiated the first two competitions in collaboration with his Chinese partners and participated in the third edition held this year.

During his recent visit to China, Sebo toured a prominent winery in eastern China’s Shandong Province. In addition to being a winemaker, Sebo is also the president of the United Industries investment group. He was deeply impressed by the scale and level of technological advancements implemented at the facility. He described the winery as having a “25-story research and development building, ten wine bottling machines, and autonomous carts darting around the compound.”

With confidence in the potential of the Chinese wine market, Sebo’s company has established a joint venture, Zhongjie Nitra Winery in Cangzhou.

Sebo is also planning to bring wine competitions closer to the public. “We have initiated discussions with two major provinces and their respective administrations to attract more Chinese entrepreneurs and producers to participate in the competition,” he revealed.


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