The Castel Group, France’s largest wine producer, has doubled its wine sales in China.
Active in China since 1998, Castel saw its sales volume reach 5.5m bottles in 2008, double that of 2007. The company expects a further rise of 18%, or 6.5m bottles, in 2009.
‘The results have shown a sharp progression over the past two years, but it’s a result of 10 years’ hard work,’ Castel’s marketing director, Franck Crouzet, told decanter.com.
Sales have risen across the entire range, but brands Baron de Lestac (Bordeaux) and Roche Mazet (Languedoc) have been particularly successful. The varietal wines from the Languedoc have also found a large market.
‘We are also well placed to continue our success even if the financial crisis affects China next year,’ Creuzet said.
‘The general progression from hard alcohol to wine consumption in China seems certain to continue.’
Castel – owner of the Nicolas chain of wine shops and until recently, Oddbins – has a wine estate in China called Chateau Changyu Castel, and a bottling centre in partnership with Changyu, the country’s biggest wine company in the country.
The French company also has a permanent office in Shanghai with four full-time staff.
Written by Jane Anson