It was the sort of offer, made over roast lamb and vegetables at a dinner in Wang’s honor, that has sent Australian wine exports to China soaring by 63 percent, hitting A$848m ($660m) last year. And Col Peterson, the winemaker behind the Chardonnay, said Wang is the kind of buyer who has upended Australia’s wine industry.
At the dinner party, Wang, wearing a red hoodie and Prada loafers, said through a translator who works at Peterson’s Hunter Valley vineyard that the wine was“amazing.”
“I’ve tried a lot of wines from different countries, and after that I thought:‘Australian wine is very good,’” said Wang, whose purchase at the vineyard, some 250km (155 miles) north of Sydney, sought to add more wine to a collection already full of Burgundy and Bordeaux.
His association with Peterson illustrates how Australian winemakers are cultivating connections in China, the world’s fastest-growing wine market, that are bearing valuable fruit even as entrenched European exporters are hitting headwinds.
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