Australia's wine industry has attracted more Chinese investment after Wei Long Grape Wine Co said it had agreed to buy hundreds of hectares of vineyards for 13 million Australian dollars.

China’s Wei Long Grape Wine Co has agreed to spend A$13.4 million (67 million Chinese yuan) to buy three Australian vineyards, the company told the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

As reported on DecanterChina.com, it marks the latest in a series of Chinese investments in Australia’s wine industry.

Wei Long said its agreed acquisitions were located in Mildura and Swan Hill in Victoria, with another third in New South Wales.

The deals include 484 hectares of vineyards and 605 hectares of land that could be planted with vines, it said. The firm agreed to pay cash.

According to a report in the Australian Financial Review, Wei Long also intends to open a winery in Mildura to process 60,000 tonnes of grapes annually.

The Chinese firm said in its stock filing that it wanted to access more high quality grapes to help build its brand image.

Wei Long was founded in 2007 and is part of a new wave of companies seeking to profit from Chinese middle class consumers developing a taste for wines.

It has a relatively strong distribution network in China, listing large supermarket chains as clients.

A free trade deal between China and Australia has fostered stronger links between Australian wine producers and Chinese distributors and retailers in the past 18 months.

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