We’ve all been hearing how important the Chinese market for fine wine has become. From the dominating performance of the auctions held there in 2011 to the explosion of wine classes and native Chinese authorities, not to mention visiting ones, China has been on the fine wine radar in a big way.

One question that seemed to come up with some frequency was whether or not China would embrace the wine culture on a more basic level, as a daily drink and at lower price points.

As Decanter.com reports, that question has been answered, and the answer is a resounding yes. According to figures supplied by Vinexpo, China surpassed the UK in 2011 to become the world’s fifth largest wine consumer.

While per capita consumption remains modest, certainly a better measure of market penetration, the explosive growth of the Chinese market is no doubt seen as the answer to what ills many wine producers.

As reported in Decanter.com

“Results from the annual study by The International Wine & Spirit Research (IWSR) show that between 2009 and 2010 consumption of still, light and sparkling wines grew by 33.4% in China (and Hong Kong included), leading to a total of 156.19m 9-litre bottles being consumed in 2011, knocking the UK into sixth position in the world-wine consumption market.

In the five-year period from 2006 to 2010, China and Hong Kong’s wine consumption grew 2.4 times larger with the study forecasting a further 54.25% rise between 2011 and 2015.

Per capita consumption is also predicted to rise in China by 2015 from 1.9 to 2 litres of wine per person per year by 2015.

By comparison, French and Italian average yearly consumption per adult is expected to be around 50 litres by 2015 while Americans will be consuming an average of 13 litres per capita by the same date. “


To read the complete story please visit Decanter.com