New deal: Up to 25 shops in China for Canadian winery Pilliterri

pilliterri china office

By Jim Boyce

Dan Dakin of the St. Catherines Standard reports that up to 25 shops dedicated to Canadian winery Pilliterri Estates will open in China as part of a recent deal:

As part of a Premier Dalton McGuinty-led trade mission to China last week, the Niagara-on-the-Lake company signed an agreement with Canbest International Trading to develop wine stores in the world’s most populated country.

The deal was announced by the government as being worth $20 million over the next three years, though Pillitteri’s president of operations said it’s more realistically worth between $5 million and $10 million….

Pillitteri had already been selling its icewine and table wines in China for the past 15 years, but the new deal is to develop Canbest Canadian Lifestyle Centre stores across the country….

[A recently opened] Beijing location will be the franchise’s flagship store, but the plan is to open as many as 25 more Canbest stores across the country with Pillitteri providing the wine.

Calling Pilliterri “the largest estate producer of icewine in the world”, Dakin added that residents of China who buy wine while visiting Pillitteri in Canada would be able to forgo carrying the bottles back and instead have the order filled via a shop at home. Full story here.

According to the Pilliterri website, the company is a partner in the Canbest project:

Starting in 2005 Pillitteri began to enter into the Chinese market… The emerging Chinese market was a challenging venture to undertake and required a partnership with local businesses and experts to successfully break into the market in full force.

In 2008 Pillitteri decided to form a cooperative business relationship with the Canadian Lifestyle Expo Centre with the interest of presenting an authentic Canadian experience in China for everyone who is interested in doing international business with Canadian companies.

Out of this relationship formed CANBEST of which Pillitteri is part owner.

See here for more details.

And also here for the government’s CAD20 million take on the deal:

Niagara’s Pillitteri Estates Wineryand Canbest International Trading has signed an agreement worth $20 million over the next three years that will bring Canadian ice wine to China. Pilliteri and Canbest will jointly own and operate a number of wine shops in China and will also sell Canadian ice wine to Chinese customers online. Economic Development and Innovation Minister Brad Duguid, who joined the Premier’s trade mission to China, will participate in the opening of the partnership’s first store in Beijing on Saturday morning before heading back to Ontario.

For those keeping score at home, there is a deal that is stated to be worth anywhere from CAD5 million to CAD20 million and covering up to 25 stores but that currently involves only one retail outlet. Let’s keep an eye on this one.

Also of note, this news comes less than a month after another Canadian winery — Auk Island in Newfoundland — is reported to have a landed a deal to ship wine to China.

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