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Australian winemaker looks to go deep into China

Updated: 2024-04-03 09:53

Kym Teusner, a winery owner, watches the fermentation of grapes after it was crushed and pressed in Barossa Valley in South Australia on March 12. Zhang Jianhua / Xinhua

ADELAIDE, Australia — When Kym Teusner loaded the first shipment of Teusner Wines to Beijing in 2006 to tap into the Chinese market, he did not think that his brands would become highly sought after among wine critics who were looking for small production but very high-quality Barossa producers in one of Australia's oldest wine regions in Adelaide.

Teusner has been producing wines under the Teusner brand for 20 years in the Barossa Valley, a wine-producing area in South Australia, since 2002.

Emerging from a very small winery 22 years ago to focus heavily on old wine fruits from vineyards that were up to 130 years of age, Teusner Wines grew rapidly over the past decade, with an annual production capacity of about 3,000 metric tons and a very strong global reputation, Teusner said.

China's Ministry of Commerce announced on Thursday that the country would lift anti-dumping and anti-subsidy tariffs on Australian wine from Friday.

Australia's wine exports to China were worth A$1.1 billion ($713 million) in 2019. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said in the wine region of Hunter Valley in the north of Sydney on Thursday that the resumption of trade will see an even higher amount.

The wine industry employs hundreds of thousands of people, Albanese said, adding: "Trade is about Australian jobs."

"We already have purchase orders in the system from our past customers, so we are very confident that people quickly want to have our wine back in China," said Teusner, who has about 200 hectares of vineyards now.

"I'm pretty excited about the next few years," he said, adding the Barossa Valley is a very diverse place that allows winemaking to suit different parts of China, as the Chinese market is diverse too.

Teusner said the Barossa Valley is much warmer, and has a much more stable climate, so the grapes are much riper, which means wines are much richer, much more concentrated, and much more flavorsome.

Fiona Yao, sales manager of Teusner Wines export, was one of the first Chinese people to enter the Australian wine industry in Barossa Valley 15 years ago.

Yao said the aroma, taste and character of Australian red wines have gained increasing popularity in the Chinese market in recent years.

"Most wineries are very eager to return to the Chinese market," she said.


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