German Wines on Path to Success in China


Sales of German wines in China have developed extremely well in recent years, defying the trend.

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Germany ranks seventh among source countries for wine imports

According to information from the Chinese Chamber of Commerce (CFNA), the total volume of imported bottled wine in mainland China has fallen from a peak of US$ 2.7 billion in 2018 to US$ 1.3 billion in 2022, largely due to global inflation and the pandemic. In contrast, the volume of wine imported from Germany rose by five per cent last year to around five million litres worth US$25.9 million, a new record high. This continued the strong upward trend from the previous year. In 2021, the volume of German wine imports in China had already risen by 23 per cent to 4.6 million litres and the value by 31 per cent to an all-time high of US$ 27.2 million. As a result of this positive development, Germany rose in the ranking of source countries for wine imports to China from eleventh place in 2016 to seventh place in 2022. The import market share grew from 0.7 to 2 percent in the same period.

Young generation discovering and enjoying white wines

The growing share of German wines on the Chinese market reflects the increasing popularity of white wine and the growing awareness of Riesling among Chinese consumers. For a growing number of younger consumers, dry red wine is no longer the main option. According to a survey of German wine importers by the leading Chinese wine trade platform Wine Business Observation (WBO), this is due to the growing number of younger consumers who have discovered white wine and Riesling in particular. In fact, the popularity of German Riesling in social media platforms such as Little Red Book and Douyin, where the young generation exchanges ideas, has never been higher.

This opens up new opportunities for white wines and especially German Riesling, from the terroir-driven dry style to Rieslings with fine residual sweetness. Both types of Riesling appeal to the new generation of consumers and wine lovers. Due to their lightness, fruit and freshness, both styles are also a perfect match for Chinese cuisine and are often recommended by food bloggers, wine experts and professional sommeliers.

As the home of Riesling, Germany offers Chinese consumers many excellent offerings in terms of the range, quality and variety of premium white wines. This makes German Rieslings very often the first choice of Chinese consumers.

Promotions by the Wines of Germany office contribute to growing popularity

The growing popularity of white wines on the Chinese market has been boosted by continuous promotional activities by the Wines of Germany office in Shanghai. Since its opening in 2015, numerous promotions revolving around German wines have taken place for importers, trainers, media, catering establishments and the trade, which have helped to increase the popularity of German wines on the Chinese market. For example, the "German Wine Flagship Store" which opened on the largest e-commerce retail platform "Tmall" in November 2020, had sold more than 100,000 high-quality wines from Germany by February 2023. With the further development of the Chinese market, white wine consumption in China is predicted to have enormous growth potential.

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