The influence of Chinese art and design goes way back in Europe. Chinoiserie, as it’s termed, describes Chinese-influenced arts and crafts, such as the ceramics made by Meissen and other porcelain producers. (After all, where did you think all that blue and white Chinese-style pottery came from? Not from China, in most cases…) Now, thanks to wine, that influence is going the other way.
Historically, China kept itself very isolated from other influences in the world, and trade did not flow as freely as it did between Britain and the Americas, say. Now though, with a new wave of prosperity in China and the country’s sizeable impact on world economics, the tide is turning. And one notable aspect of that change is wine.
Chateau Lafite is the most popular Bordeaux wine with Chinese buyers, and investment from Asia has helped the market expand to its current buoyant status. This is no bubble market though, so it can’t burst: there’s only so much wine to go round. It’s a real commodity, and while it’s an investment for many it’s also used by hotels and restaurants.
The fact that IGW Brokers has strong contacts with that market of real end users – people who actually use wine for what it was always intended, drinking – helps ensure the strength of our market position. People will always want to relish the taste of a good wine going down, and that means there will always be consumption and not just an endless cycle of investment. That’s what distinguishes it from some of the illusory products in the financial market – those which historically Chinese investors have shrewdly steered clear of.
The Fine Wine Game is a documentary currently being filmed about Chinese interest in Bordeaux wines. Produced by Warwick Ross, owner of Portsea Wine Estates, and directed by him along with fellow Australian David Roach, the pair previously teamed up to produce the cult classic Young Einstein among other successes. Here’s a toast to their new venture!