September 7, 2012

China's thirst for wine boosts European producers

China's thirst for fine wines is buoying European producers as domestic consumption dries up.

As the eurozone debt crisis squeezes household spending, Europeans have less to splurge on life's little pleasures, and wine producers have felt the pinch. Exporters are now looking to new markets like China -- home to 1.3 billion people -- to boost sales.

Richard Halstead, co-founder of Wine Intelligence, a consultancy on wine branding, says that China is a huge growth market for producers and there is a scramble for quality European brands.

"China represents effectively the biggest growth prospect that the wine industry has had probably for a generation," said Halstead.

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