Water Wheel is headed to China
Published on 01 November 2019
For over 45 years, Bridgewater winery, Water Wheel, has been producing quality wine and now they are extending their product distribution into the emerging wine market that is China.
One of the first wineries in the Loddon Shire, Water Wheel released their first vintage of Shiraz in 1974 and the range has grown over the years to include Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Peter Cumming, who took over ownership of Water Wheel in 1989, runs and manages a vineyard of over 100 hectares along with sales throughout Australia and overseas. Peter explains that the wine scene in China has changed over the years, and it’s these changes that have opened up the opportunity for Australian winemakers to introduce their quality product into the market.
“Wine in China was often purchased as a gift, from one person to another, as opposed to buying for direct consumption,” Peter says. “The market has developed more, there is a growing middle class who are enjoying overseas travel, and they are being informed by their experiences in travel. They are enjoying a high-quality product and now it’s more about buying wine to experience it, rather than gift it.”
This new and vibrant market is now looking forward to hosting the ProWine Trade Fair in November of this year, and Peter, two of his staff, and Water Wheel Wines will be making an appearance.
“This will be the world’s biggest wine trade fair,” Peter says of the ProWine event. “We will be a minnow in a very large sea, but we’ve got a number of Chinese customers so it will be wonderful to be there.
“China is a red wine market, Australia is known for producing outstanding Shiraz and we do it very well here. Australian wines offer a softer style that’s very appealing, so it’s a good position for us to be in. The Chinese aren’t afraid to spend money on a quality product, so we will see how we go. It will be great to see a new country and meet new people.”
For more information about the Loddon Valley, visit www.visitloddonvalley.com.au.