Wine Australia has announced the cancellation of its China Roadshow 2020 due to COVID-19.
Australian largest tasting roadshow has been rescheduled to May 2021. China Roadshow 2020 was initially planned for this May, then rescheduled to September.
“Unfortunately, holding the Roadshow in September 2020 is not possible due to the international travel restrictions and quarantine requirements,” Wine Australia said.
“We are refunding the activity fee to all exhibitors in full.”
The roadshow event covers four Chinese cities, namely Nanjing, Qingdao, Xiamen and Guangzhou.
It is an integral part of Wine Australia’s China marketing strategy, driving awareness of Australian wine and the brands within the category.
“The largest Australian grand tasting roadshow presents influential trade and media with some of Australia’s finest wines – along with exciting new wines to watch – and is designed to fundamentally increase export sales to this powerhouse region,” Wine Australia notes on its website.
Australia is currently the top imported wine country in China by value. In the year ending September 2019, Australia’s wine exports to China (including Hong Kong and Macau) reached a record value of $1.13 billion, an increase of 18% on the year before.
However, there are fears that Australian wine might be the next victim in an escalating trade war.
China has placed an 80% tariff on Australian-grown barley and there are concerns the wine industry could be targeted next.
Relationships key to China growth
Earlier this month, Wine Australia CEO Andreas Clark told Xinhuanet how important it is for winemakers to spend time in China cultivating relationships.
“Producers who are successful in China have being going there for 15 and 20 years,” said Clark. “It’s been consistent hard work, multiple trips cultivating relationship and that’s been profoundly important.”
He added that personal connections and relationships between Australia and China, at multiple levels, cannot be understated.
“When I’m on the road with some of our Australian producers in China, you see what they do in terms of always picking up on their relationships at various trade events.
“There’s side dinners organized, there’s side events organised. These people have become very close friends due to the longevity of the relationship, especially with a product like wine because when you open that bottle of wine that shares the camaraderie.”