Just a few months after a devastating earthquake in California’s Napa Valley, the wine region has bounced back with predictions that the 2014 vintage will be the best ever.
The Napa Valley produces a quarter of America’s wine produce and recorded US $115m of exports to Hong Kong and China last year. For wineries participating from California at this year’s Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair, they come brimming with confidence as sales to Hong Kong and China have seen a 76% increase in wine imports from 2010. China is now the fifth largest importer of bottled wine according to US Department of Agriculture.
Jeff Williamson, director, California Centers for International Trade Development (CITD) program, said: “The Napa Valley earthquake was a setback for the region’s wine producers, but they were able to bounce back. This year, the wine quality is set to be extraordinary thanks to the dovetailing of perfect weather patterns characterised by warm, dry days and cool evenings.
“China is a very promising market even though there is a wine tax, but the Californian producers are banking on Chinese millennials becoming the go-to market in the future. There is an emerging swathe of new wine drinkers in China who have the spending power and a large taste-and-try appetite.”
According to the Wine Institute, an advocacy group based in San Francisco, US wine exports reached US $1.55bn in winery revenues in 2013 – 90% came from California. Exports to Hong Kong were down by 12% at US $78m, while China rose by 6% to US $77m.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019