Chateau Guiraud in Sauternes is to open two storage cellars for its wines in Asia, one in Hong Kong and one in Shenzen, China.
The first, in the industrial city of Shenzen just over the mainland Chinese border from Hong Kong, is due to open in mid-April 2011, with the second one to follow a few months later in June.
The intention is to give Chinese wine merchants and distributors access to authenticated, landed stock that can be delivered quickly.
Augustine Lacaille, brand ambassador for Chateau Guiraud, told decanter.com it was essential to for their partners to have ready access to wines mainly for education purposes.
‘This is key for Sauternes wines, as we need to show how flexible they are, particularly with Chinese cuisine.’
Guiraud will not have a full-time representative in China, but will continue to work as usual with Bordeaux négociants and their local Chinese distributors.
‘This is a professional cellar, not in any way an attempt to sell direct,’ Lacaille stressed.
Latest figures from the Bordeaux Wine Bureau (CIVB) recorded that sales of Sauternes wines to Hong Kong and China rose by 50% over 2010.
In 2009 sweet wines accounted for 0.2% of all Bordeaux wines imported into Hong Kong, and for 0.3% of all Bordeaux wines imported into China.
China imported 13.5m litres, or 18mbottles of Bordeauxin 2009, almost double the volume of 2008.
Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux