Back in China: De Bortoli partners with ASC Fine Wines

Australian wine is pouring back into China now that the tariffs have been lifted, and that includes from De Bortoli, which has a new partner in veteran importer and distributor ASC Fine Wines. De Bortoli had previously worked with Torres China.

De Bortoli and ASC have been doing a series of consumer and trade events in Shanghai and Beijing this week, including a dinner last night in the capital, during which North Asia sales GM Matt Bahen explained the company’s plans. (Grape Wall also talked to Bahen last week via WeChat on this topic.)

One major priority is rebuilding De Bortoli’s on-premise presence in China, including in major hotel groups — “the Marriotts, the Hiltons, the Shangri-las.” And to do so not only with the kind of Shiraz, Cabernet and Chardonnay wines we have come to expect from Down Under, but also — in response to diversifying tastes — with a serious focus on Muscats, Pinot Noirs and the sweet botrytis-driven Semillon for which the company is famous, Noble One.

The company will be leveraging more than two dozen labels with ASC in pursuing this.

For Bahen, it has been a bit of a homecoming as he got his start in China with ASC in 2006

He also recently visited Hong Kong, for Vinexpo, and Guangzhou, and said “I feel like a stranger” given how much the China market has changed in the three-plus years since the tariffs were first imposed.

ASC has also been promoting the other Australian wines it carries in recent weeks, including Henschke, Yalumba and Leeuwin.

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