How to sell wine in China?

The Chinese market has remained very buoyant for French wines over the past decade. But the competition is fierce. So how do you make a place for yourself and gain a lasting foothold in this multi-coded environment? Les Grappes offers some food for thought.

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The wine market in China

According toIWSR (the world's leading analyst of alcoholic beverage trends), the Chinese market is one of the most dynamic in the world in terms of wine consumption.

Who consumes wine in China?

A symbol of social prestige, wine was long reserved for China's upper class, who consumed almost exclusively red wine. Nowadays, the middle class, whose purchasing power has increased in recent years, is starting to consume more and better.

The search for quality is paramount.

The new Chinese generation loves wine and has sufficient means to be taken into account. Young people are less hesitant when it comes to trying new products, which they generally consume in convivial, informal gatherings.

Which wines sell best in China?

Generally speaking, apart from the Grands Crus, the Chinese like fruity, easy-drinking French wines with little or no bitterness. In an affordable price range, IGP Pays d'Oc or AOP Costières-de-Nîmes, for example, are finding their place quite easily, supported by major players from these regions: Castel, interprofession du Rhône etc.

Almost 72% of wines consumed in China in 2020 were red wines.

In addition to red wines, sparkling wines with a sweet flavour or aromatized white wines also seem to be increasingly popular, with 27% of white wines imported.

As far as red wines are concerned, the most famous grape variety is Cabernet Sauvignon. There are also many wines made from grape varieties such as Merlot, Shiraz and Pinot Noir. As for white wine, Chardonnay is the best known. Other varieties, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling, are also readily available.

How to meet the needs of Chinese wine lovers?

In a country where many counterfeits and very low-quality products are circulating, the Chinese are wary. They need to be reassured. That's why, in China, we don't sell a wine or a winery, but a brand that needs to be well protected before entering the market.

On the other hand, Chinese wine lovers are particularly fond of and sensitive to the advice and expertise we can share with them. Medals, awards, videos presenting the winery, expert advice, posters, point-of-sale displays, technical data sheets... any medium and any quality content to be created is welcome.

Importing wine to China

Here is a non-exhaustive list of things you need to do before you can import wine into China:

  • Register your product with Chinese customs (check with AQSIQ)
  • Choose your distribution channel and find a Chinese importer: in China, an unknown wine will never sell. That's why it's important to make yourself known to the major distributors and to maintain a network. It's essential to work with a local.
  • Work on your brand to adapt it to the market
  • Careful packaging: brands with attractive packaging are very popular. Many wineries are reworking their labels for the Chinese market. Certain graphic codes work better than others. For Bordeaux wines, for example, classic calligraphy, red and gold colors and very traditional images are really appreciated.

How to promote your wine in China?

Participate in wine fairs

As a forum for exchange, discussion and tasting, wine fairs can be very interesting for those wishing to sell wine in China. They help build relationships (essential for business transactions in China), sharing and confidence in the product.

Be present on social networks

Major companies have realized that having a content and communication strategy on social networks is essential on the Chinese market. The benefits are many: storytelling, product presentation videos, expert opinions, influencers... all arguments that make sense with a target that is mostly connected to its smartphone on a daily basis.


More traditional and more costly, a press relations strategy should not be ruled out. By publishing in the right newspapers and magazines, or inviting journalists to high-quality private events, you're sure to score points and help your brand gain recognition.

Think E-commerce

If there's one channel to consider for doing business in China, it's e-commerce. And with good reason: today, online purchases account for 35% of total wine sales in China .

At a time when young consumers are becoming an increasingly important target, the Internet offers strong growth potential. The buying process is simplified and the offer can be wide.

Some Chinese websites, major players in online sales, share the bulk of the market: and Tmall, the e-commerce platform of the Alibaba group. New sites are making their mark and are becoming very promising: Yihaodian and Kaola, for example.

Are you a wine professional? Les Grappes can help!

Les Grappes is an online wine sales platform for professionals. We support cafés, hotels, restaurants, wine merchants and buyers in their choice of wines, as well as in the creation of tailor-made wine lists! Depending on your project, your tastes and your budget, we'll help you choose the best wines, from over 1,000 winegrowers, in the short circuit.Sign up free of chargeand our team will contact you!

We already work with establishments in over 40 countries: in France as well as inItalyItalyBelgiumBelgiumDOM TOM... For more information,visit our website.

Chloé Desaigues for Les Grappes

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