Ms. Leissner is optimistic about the future of the wine industry in China despite the flowering domestic competition. She is convinced that China’s wine market has huge potential, in terms of both consumption and production. Most of China’s wineries produce for the low-end, mass market, but she believes that as the market matures and gains sophistication it will demand better wines.
Britain’s oldest wine merchant, Berry Bros. & Rudd, agrees that China is set to carve a niche as a leading wine-producing nation by volume. In its Future of Wine report last year, Berrys estimated that China’s 400-odd wineries would increase more than tenfold in the next 50 years, with perhaps a quarter of them producing fine-quality wine. It also predicted that China would leap from being the world’s sixth-largest wine producer by volume to the leading producer by 2058.
China has “all the essential ingredients to make fine wine to rival the best of Bordeaux” including “the right soil, low labor costs and soaring domestic demand,” the report said.