21 October 2018 - 13 Heshvan 5779 - י"ג חשון ה' אלפים תשע"ט
Israeli winery setting up in China E-mail

According to Haaretz, China is on its way to becoming the second-biggest wine market in the world as Chinese tipplers grow increasingly fond of the grape, and now one Israeli winery is set to get a piece of the action.

Hayotzer Winery, a unit of the Arza Winery, has reached an agreement in principle to help the Chinese group Hubey Pengdun to set up an US$8 million winery in Hubei Province and advise it on viticulture and winemaking, said Guy Edri, Hayotzer’s CEO.

Under the terms of the agreement, Hayotzer will get around a 25% stake in the new venture, which will take two years to erect once it has received all the regulatory approvals.

“In China, those who know Israel admire us because of our high-tech and admire the Jews because of history going back thousands of years and our Nobel Prizes,” Edri said, explaining why a Chinese company would turn to Israel rather than France or Italy for wine expertise.

Chinese wine consumption has experienced double-digit growth in recent years, and by one estimate it will have surpassed France and Britain by 2020 to become the world’s second-largest business market after the US. That adds up to US$21.7 billion in sales in 2020.

Even now, Chinese wine consumption amounts to 1.5 billion bottles annually. Only about a quarter of that, mostly cheaper labels, is produced locally; the rest comes from imports, mainly from France, Italy, Spain and Australia.

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