Live from ProWine China in Shanghai

ProWine Chinas 2018 expo was held in November in Shanghai, where more than 18,000 visitors and 750 exhibitors from 39 countries gathered at one of Asias largest wine trade shows. I attended the show for the first time, getting a first-hand look at the massive Shanghai New International Expo Centre where the event was held. I was also able to visit three off-premise retail stores throughout the city during the conference.

Conference Highlights

More than 30 masterclasses and seminars were offered to participants throughout the shows three days, providing information about wines and spirits, as well as industry trends.

A number of industry organizations partner with or plan their schedules around ProWine China. Decanter Shanghai Fine Wine Encounter was held the same week, as were Wine Australia and Sud de Frances wine competition awards ceremonies. The founding China Wine Union conference also took place during the last day of ProWine.

Chinas Retail Market

I visited a grocery chain, a liquor store chain and a private wine buying club during my time in Shanghai, each representing a different buying experience for Chinese consumers.

Grocery chain G-Super is owned by conglomerate Greenland Business Group, which has holdings in a number of industries throughout China. The store I visited offered a wide selection of wine (mostly red), as well as internationally known spirits and beer brands.


1919 Wines & Spirits is a chain of more than 1,000 stores known for its promise to delivery an order in 19 minutes or less. Its partnership with Alibaba and its 30+ warehouses around the country make it a powerful e-commerce company throughout the country. While its footprint in urban areas is small, the stores offer a wide selection of high-end wines and spirits, particularly Scotch and Bordeaux.

Ruby Red Wine Cellar is a wine store not open to the public, which caters to its highly engaged member base and searches for unique wines to offer. It has showrooms in four major cities, placing it close to clientele of international business managers.

In terms of the overall Chinese wine market, COFCO-owned Great Wall is by far the biggest domestic brand. Chinese consumption is approximately 1.3 liters per person, per year, and overall penetration for wine is 38% of the population. Chinese consumers drink more than 87% dry red wine, with very little white wine sales.

PROWEIN Business Report

Professor Simone Loose from Geisenheim University in Germany presented the latest results from ProWeins annual business report, which surveys 2500 industry members (suppliers and trade) to gain their insights into current and future trends. Among the results from the 2018 report:

  • China, Japan and Hong Kong are the most attractive export markets for winemakers
  • Singapore, Taiwan and Czech Republic are the top emerging markets for winemakers
  • The top wine origins retailers went to expand product selection from are Portugal, South Africa, Argentina, U.S. and Australia
  • Internationally, 51% of retailers use e-commerce
  • Overall, retailers report that online sales cause decreased profits due to easy price comparability

For more information on ProWine China and the rest of ProWeins global trade shows, visit


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