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Cameron England
 
25 April 2017 | Cameron England

Top SA wineries to roll up for Chinese liquor expo

TWENTY South Australian wineries will get the chance to showcase their wares in China next year following a deal brokered by Tomich Wines’ Randal Tomich.

The China (Guizhou) International Alcoholic Beverage Exposition is putting up $200,000 to help 20 wineries attend their event next year, in a bid to ensure higher end wineries from Australia are in attendance.

Mr Tomich says the conference organisers are looking to ensure they get high quality Australian wine producers at their event.

“In the Guizhou province they have one of China’s largest wine shows and it’s in the town of Maotai — Maotai is the famous Chinese liquor,’’ he said.

“Traditionally it’s been a Chinese liquor convention but now they’re branching out into wine and they have five different halls, and of the five they want to make one wine.

“In 2017 they targeted New Zealand and Australia as the partner countries, and they’re planning Australia to be the sole partner country in 2018.’’

A memorandum of understanding was signed with the conference organisers in Adelaide earlier this month for a three-year relationship and the Guizhou Government has committed $200,000 towards promotion of the event.

“We’re going to have an Australian pavilion,’’ Mr Tomich said. “We’re hoping to hook in Wine Australia as well.’’

Mr Tomich said the event had largely been off the radar for wine companies as it was dominated by Chinese liquor, but Chinese business people in that sector were interested in branching out into wine.

There were also plans to develop an annual booklet showcasing 100 wineries in SA, in collaboration with Winestate magazine and Apex Manual from Hong Kong, with judging carried out by Masters of Wine.

Mr Tomich said that publication would focus on boutique wineries, and those judged as the top 20 would be assisted with funding to attend the event, which is held in September each year.

Mr Tomich’s business partner Ivan Shiu said Australian wineries needed to be creative about how to market their wines in China.

A good rating from a wine judge such as James Halliday would be of little use he said, while an endorsement from an entrepreneur such as Jack Ma of Alibaba fame or a celebrity would be much more influential.

The China (Guizhou) International Alcoholic Beverage Exposition last year reportedly attracted 1000 international exhibitors and 1000 from China.

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