China the promised land for South African winemakers

miércoles 25 de mayo de 2016 11:08 GYT

* Wine exports to China rose 30 percent in 2015

* Chinese wine market worth $15 billion

* Young professionals driving demand

* South Africa faces tough competition

By Wendell Roelf

FRANSCHHOEK, South Africa, May 25 (Reuters) - South African tycoon Koos Bekker sells wine from his vineyard all over the world, but a small detail offers a clue as to where his priorities may lie - all the bottles are labelled in Mandarin.

Other producers along the Stellenbosch wine routes where his Babylonstoren farm is located are doing the same, looking to tap into soaring demand in China led by a growing professional class as Asia's economic powerhouse in turn ramps up its investments in South Africa.

"Babylonstoren's export strategy to China is to be visible in Beijing, not only the city, but also the province," said Naspers chairman Bekker's cellarmaster Charl Coetzee.

"We only want to conquer Beijing and if we conquer Beijing we will be happy," he said as a young Asian couple sampled his produce in a tasting room overlooking rows of young vines.   Continuación...