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Chinese investment in Australia's wineries on the rise

www.sbs.com.au by Jarni Blakkarly07/01/2019  

When FeiFei Wang came to Australia four years ago she knew almost nothing about Australian wine.

Now, she and two other Mandarin-speaking staff are serving Chinese customers at Tamburlaine Organic Wines in the Hunter Valley, in New South Wales.

“Right now we have a lot of Chinese customers come to our winery. We have noticed how important it is to have staff who can speak Chinese,” she told SBS News.

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Feifei Wang helps service Mandarin-speaking customers at the cellar door.

Wine exports from Australia were worth $2.7 billion dollars in the year to September 2018, up by 11 per cent.

China was by far the biggest market, worth $1.06 billion, up 24 per cent in one year alone. The second biggest export market was the United States, worth $423 million.

It is all part of a changing palate among the rising middle-class in China, which is driving a booming export market for high-quality Australian wines.

“People in China traditionally drink baijiu [a Chinese spirit] which is very strong alcohol,” Ms Wang said.

“Now people find that wine makes them relax, not get drunk. So they like wine, they are starting to tell the difference between each wine and area. It is starting to get very popular now”.