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Changyu eyes push for global market

By ZHU WENQIAN in Beijing,JU CHUANJIANG in Jinan and CECILY LIU in London | China Daily | Updated: 2017-02-03 08:52

Changyu eyes push for global market

Two of the premium wines Changyu's Ningxia winery sold in Europe. [Photo provided to China Daily]

China's biggest wine producer-Changyu Wine Group Co Ltd-said it plans to sign with distributors in about 15 European countries, to sell its globally competitive wine products in large-scale local supermarkets.

Changyu said it had signed cooperation agreements with distributors from Germany and the Netherlands.

That was after the Yantai, Shandong province-based winemaker made its products onto the shelves of the United Kingdom's second-biggest supermarket chain Sainsbury's, where they were featured during the Chinese New Year, which began on Saturday.

Sainsbury's added Changyu's Noble Dragon Red, which sells at 8 pounds ($10.63) per bottle, equivalent to its price in China.

The wine is a Cabernet Gernischt, a red wine grape variety used in China originally believed to be of European origin. It is a blend of two types of grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Changyu describes it as a smoky red with blackberry and cassis flavors and a smooth finish.

"This is the first time that we are selling our products in a mainstream local supermarket chain in the UK and we are mainly targeting middle-class consumers," said Sun Jian, Changyu's deputy general manager.

Sun said the wine producer hoped to expand its business to other European countries with a similar strategy.

He added that with a small local production of wine, UK consumers had a big appetite for global wines.

"The UK wine market is one of the most diverse worldwide and local residents are interested in trying wines from different regions. In the past few days, the sales of our wines at Sainsbury's have been pretty good," Sun added.

The new sales at Sainsbury's have taken Changyu a step forward from its first entry into the UK in 2013, when its wines were made available through luxury wine and spirits merchant Berry Bros and Rudd.

"We know that customers are keen to broaden their repertoire and we have been looking at some distinctive regions and countries for new additions to expand our range," said Georgina Haughton, Sainsbury's wine buyer for products from South Africa, South America and China.

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