Wine in China is synonymous with social status. Wine is consumed above all in Hotels and Restaurants, private parties (as a present to the host), and as a gift to from corporates to their clients. Word of mouth is very important. Shanghai based Europasia International Trading Company started back in 2005 and to date has focused mainly on the import of French wines. Times are changing and now the focus is to import from countries from around the world. Italy and Italian wines are high on the list.
In talking with Cathleen Lamprecht, General Manager of Europasia (Shanghai) we gained some further insights into Chinese wine preferences and Europasia.
1. From your website, it is evident that you are primarily based between France and China. How did this relationship initially begin?
The company’s founder is a French entrepreneur-Patrick Michard, he visited China 9 years ago, and saw big potential in China. He first wanted to start a trading company in China 8 years ago. He has many friends and past colleagues who are wine makers and vineyard owners in France. When he saw the opportunity of importing his friends wines to China he decided to start the company as an importer and logistic organizer for French wines and foods.
I’ve been to the Buyer meets Iberian Cellar Workshop a couple of years ago, and also attended similar workshops in China, I found it is more effective than large trade fairs where you can discuss serious business one-to-one with wineries and actually get down to business and make the deals workout.
3. What is Europasia International Trading Company to gain from this workshop? How do Italian wines fit into your market?
As of beginning of 2012, Europasia has expanded from Club France (solely French products) to Club Alliance (products of the world). We are looking to expand our portfolio other than French wines. Currently we don’t have any Italian wines and are looking for Italian suppliers.
As for the Chinese Wine market, Red wines tend to work better, white and sparkling wines are also increasing. We want products from all price ranges, therefore there is no specific price range we demand. Because of the increasing demand of Prosecco in China, we would like to put a little focus on that. We’ve been in contact with some Tuscany and Piedmont producers, therefore we would like to get some others.
5. What types of Italian wines would be most popular in China? And, why?
Chinese market tend to accept wines with an interesting history (a story telling theme when drinking the wine), an attractive label or shape (a way to remember the wine out of many others), and a less acidic taste (Chinese wine drinkers like smooth, fruity, bodied wines, because they are not traditional wine drinkers).
Italian Wine producers should take part in the Wine Pleasures Workshop Buyer meets Italian Cellar on November 5-7 to have the opportunity to enter or expand into the Chinese market, through a connection with Cathleen!