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French wine producers look to China

Monday, June 27, 2011 - 01:29

June 27 - Wine producers in at the International Wine Fair in Bordeaux say they're looking to China and emerging markets for sales growth but it's not just China's wine buying power which is of interest -- wine produced in China is also making its mark. Ruairidh Villar reports.

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At a wine fair in the south of France, a toast from Chinese consumers. For French wine growers, financial turmoil in Western markets has taken its toll on trade. But now they've been given a boost from growing demand in emerging economies like China. (SOUNDBITE) (French) PRESIDENT OF VINEXPO, XAVIER DE EIZAGUIRRE, SAYING: "They started getting interested in imported products a few years ago, thanks to their entry into the World Trade Organisation. And so we're benefiting from a boom here in Bordeaux -- because Chinese prefer to go for French wines, like the wines from Bordeaux." But in future years French exporters may have to battle it out with Chinese producers. Wine produced in China is growing in popularity. And one of Bordeaux's top names has even opened a vineyard in China to cash in on the demand. Bruno Paumard was a sommelier in France, but now he helps run a vineyard in the Chinese city of Wuhai. (SOUNDBITE) (French) WINE MAKER AT CHATEAU HANSEN, BRUNO PAUMARD, SAYING: "We've got a market in China, so we sell all our wine there. That's what we want, because the price of wine is very high in China. We were a little reticent to export but we're doing it to boost our image. We're very happy for our wines to be served on pretty tables or put in pretty wine cellars in France or the rest of the world, but that's not our focus. We prefer selling our wine in China." But for producers sniffing for profits, Chinese demand could turn out to be a very liquid asset. Ruairidh Villar, Reuters.

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French wine producers look to China

Monday, June 27, 2011 - 01:29