With 520 companies participating, Wine to Asia, the second edition of the international wine and spirits exhibition organised by VeronafiereVinitaly, opens today in Shenzhen. Running until 11 May at the Futian Exhibition Centre, Wine to Asia is one of the most important wine promotion events in the Greater Bay Area, the world’s fastest growing wine region, which includes Hong Kong, Macau and nine cities in Guangdong Province, including Shenzhen.

Veronafiere president, Federico Bricolo in Shenzhen

There are nine exhibition halls representing as many producing countries (Italy, China, Serbia, Slovenia, Argentina, Georgia, Uruguay, Mexico and South Africa), with the Italian delegation confirming itself as the most numerous at a sector event in Asia. In fact, there are 50 companies in the “Italian Pavilion” signed by Ice Agenzia, while another 70 – including the Consorzio per la Tutela del Franciacorta – are spread throughout the other areas of the exhibition.

Italian Ambassador to China, Massimo Ambrosetti

The Greater Bay Area (GBA) is a key market, with almost 40% of Chinese goods passing through it. A decisive area – notes the UIV-Vinitaly Observatory – also for wine imports: in 2023, more than 40% of Italian wine orders destined for China and the two former colonies found an outlet in the Gba, a figure that rises to 64% if we consider China’s total wine imports. An area closely linked to the entire Far East, but also strategic in terms of the Dragon market alone: the province of Guangdong alone (around 80 million inhabitants) accounts for 25% of total Italian wine imports into China.

The Chinese wine market is rapidly changing its skin: the declines seen over the last three years are being partially counterbalanced by the trend of a more qualitative demand, with a relative substantial increase in the average price of Italian wine over the last 18 months. Euromonitor estimates an increase to 2027 in sales of still wines of 3.7%, with above average growth for rosés and reds, which account for 76% of Chinese consumption.

Pictured centre, Liu Fangfei, one of China’s best-known TV journalists