Berry Bros. & Rudd, the 314-year- old London wine merchant, has become the first major U.K. retailer to stock Chinese wines in its permanent range, according to a statement from the company.
Berry is offering four wines from Changyu, part of Yantai Changyu Pioneer Wine Co. (200869) based in Shandong, northeast China. They include a red Chateau Changyu Moser blended from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes typical of France’s Bordeaux region and three sweet ice wines made from frozen grapes.
Chinese appetite for imported Bordeaux and Burgundy has helped sustain the global market over the past five years as the economic downturn in the U.S. and the debt crisis in Europe damped demand elsewhere. Now China is looking to export its own wines.
“It was only a matter of time before it entered the international wine market,” Mark Pardoe, Berry’s buying director, said in the e-mailed statement. “This is a first step towards serious international recognition.”
China is already the world’s eighth-largest producer of wine, and the U.K. supermarket chain Waitrose Ltd. stocked Chinese wine for a period last year, the Berry statement said.
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