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Belle from Bordeaux promotes family legacy with flair

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

"That's something that's really important for us right now," Helene says. "Trying to grow production so we can keep up with demand, but at the same time not changing the way we do things."

The China wine market is telling them to move faster, but they simply cannot make the wine quicker. The focus is about predicting future markets and planting more vineyards based on that. Thinking 20 years ahead might seem daunting, but Ponty says it's a great place to be.

She has a good grasp on distribution, everywhere from Beijing and Xiamen to Shanghai and Chengdu, where she exhibited Le Ponty wines at the annual wine fair in late March. Within the next few years, she wants to better organize those channels and also gain recognition in China for Le Ponty as a part of the middle-end category of wine.

The future is uncertain, but one thing she understands is the need to avoid complacency. She believes that as the market matures, she'll have many more competitors to worry about.

"Who knows? Maybe the new guys will come in and the old ones don't adapt, so they just get pushed out," she says. "But maybe not. We'll see."

Adding more vineyards can make tradition expensive to maintain. Ponty says, however, this is equally important to her family and to her clients in China, who keep coming back for more.

"I think people in China care more and more about where what they're buying comes from. They care about the artisan part," she says. "It's not something you find a lot around here."

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