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Chinese Tastes Shaping South African Wine-Making

Image via AM Vineyards in South Africa.

South African winemakers are increasingly tailoring their products to the tastes of the Chinese market. South Africa’s share of China’s wine market was less than 1% in 2019. However, it’s grown rapidly, thanks to China’s massive tariffs on Australian wine. Before the trade war, Australia accounted for nearly 40% of China’s wine consumption. That has now fallen tenfold.

The pivot to Chinese tastes is being driven by the SA company AM Vineyards (photo), which is owned by the country’s largest exporter of beef to China. It launched two new red wine blends, designed to pair well with red meat. These are being distributed to hotels and restaurants, using the same networks as the company’s beef exports.

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