There are different reasons that make our introduction in Asian countries slightly more complicated than in other countries of the world and that make question ourselves if we should sell to this market. I would emphasize the great cultural difference that separates us, the risk of our product and brand being copied and genetic questions.
The cultural aspect is something that only with time and many investment on the market will be excelling itself because their wine-growing knowledge is still very poorand the confidence of an Asian to be gained it will take us time.
With regard to the risk of being copied we must be very cautious in records and legal issues because in view of the economic volume that represents the wine-growing sector the falsifications are there. Not only clothes, watch and purses of famous brands are copiedbut also bottles of wine with its recognized labels. China, which is one of the big importers of wine, admits that 7 of every 10 “imported” bottles sold in restaurants of their big cities are false.
And thirdly, though we do not consider the wine to be an alcoholic beverage but as part of our Mediterranean diet, it is certain that it is normally elaborated with alcoholic degrees of between 12 and 15 degrees. And it is curious to read in different statistics that in Asian countries like Korea, Japan and China exist less alcoholics than in the European countries or that even in America and not because they do not like the alcohol but for a genetic disorder that more than 50 % of the Asian population have, a defective enzima (the ALDH-II) that does their organisms intolerant to the alcohol presenting symptoms of strong pains of stomach and head, spontaneous raise of the temperature etc … that is why they are more opposed to the consumption of wine.
And in spite of these things, how to resign to the Asian market with more than 4300 million inhabitants?
China is a key country in the export of Spanish wine in spite of lacking wine-growing tradition because the wine has begun to represent a symbol of social status there and it is where Spain already exports more than 74 mm of liters a year and wait its exports increase up to in 87 % in 2015.
Hong Kong has turned into the country of entry to the continental China and the rest of Asian countries since it is the only place of the world where the wine does not have taxes. Zone where the Spanish exports have grown 120%.
Bodegas San Alejandro has invested in this market during years where we already have consolidated sales in continuous growth.
That is why we are attending to the international fair Vinexpo Asia Pacific 2014 Hong Kong that takes place in Hong Kong this week.
Asia, so different, so rich and as exciting as interesting for the wine sector.
To sell in Asian countries? Definitively YES!!