“There's so many people there, it has a huge chance if we don't stuff it with cheap wine – you can quickly get a bad reputation, and that's what happened in England when the big boys started chasing each other down the drain on price and quality,” said Osborn.
D’Arenberg is celebrating its 100th anniversary in McLaren Vale this year, and has seen Australian wine exports grow from $50 million in 2006-2007 to $214 million in the last financial year. China is now this country’s third-biggest wine export market.
“We're just starting to understand China, and they're becoming more and more Western in their tastes . . . we've had quite a few Chinese people turning up here wanting to distribute us in China, but we're already making quite strong inroads there,” Osborn told The Australian.
Other winemakers, such as Jacob’s Creek, have seen good results recently and a boost from the growing Chinese demand for Australian wine.