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China’s Wealthy Wine Drinkers Help Revive Australian Vineyards

Ferngrove winery, which grows Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Semillon grapes in Western Australia’s Frankland River, last year faced declining sales and the prospect of breakup if business didn’t recover.

As it sought partners, a Chinese investor visited last October and bought 14,000 bottles of wine to test on friends and associates back home, said Ferngrove Managing Director Anthony Wilkes. They liked what they tasted: in February, the winery received a A$1 million ($1 million) investment from the investor’s private firm, which has since increased to A$10 million giving it about 60 percent of the winery, Wilkes said.