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Belle from Bordeaux promotes family legacy with flair

By Meghan Horihan | China Daily | Updated: 2016-04-05 08:52

"Seeing how my parents talk about it in a language that did not allow other people to understand - that's what made me interested," she says.

While she taught her new customers about wine, she also had to do some major learning about what Chinese consumers were looking for. This is an ongoing lesson, as markets can change every six months and consumer trends vary greatly city-to-city.

That keeps her on her toes, she says, smiling.

Feedback is always flowing, and while sometimes she has to take advice with a grain of salt, some needed changes became apparent when Le Ponty arrived in the China market.

Marketing, designs and labels were once only a second thought. It's about the wine after all, but that isn't always enough anymore: For her, Ponty says, it's become about creating an experience with packaging and connecting with consumers by spreading the wine culture.

It took about a year and a half of trial and error in China before things seemed to click, she says. Fast forward to today, the winery has seen overwhelming success, with 75 percent of all sales now in China, mostly thanks to group buying.

"It's also scary," she says. "We've done 100 percent growth every year since we've started. At some point you can't sustain that."

While trying to keep up with growth, one might wonder whether the wine quality suffers along the way.

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