China Makes First Investment In S. African Wine Industry

China Makes First Investment In S. African Wine Industry

South African wine exports are up 25 percent and China is watching.

Perfect China bought the wine cellar and vineyards of the Val de Vie estate, located between the towns of Paarl and Franschhoek near Cape Town, according to a Bloomberg report.

This is the first time a Chinese company has made such a purchase in South Africa, Bloomberg reports.

The purchase includes a 61.8-acre wine farm with vineyards. The cellar will be used by Perfect Wines of South Africa, in which Perfect China has a 51 percent stake. Perfect Wines of South Africa exported 2.8 million bottles of wine to China in 2011 and 2012, or about 25 percent of all South African wine shipments to the Asian nation, it said.

South African wine exports rose to 124 million gallons for the year ending in April, up 25 percent from the previous year and more than triple the total shipped in 2000, according to the industry association, Wines of South Africa.

The U.K. was the biggest of South Africa’s wine importers with a 22 percent share for the year. Shipments to the U.K. and U.S. fell in the five years preceding 2011, but shipments grew sixfold to China in the same period, Bloomberg reports.

The cellar purchased by Perfect China is part of an original house built on the farm in 1825, according to the estate’s website, the report said. The farm grows grape varieties that include Cinsaut, Carignam, Grenache Noir, Mourvedre, Syrah, Clairette Blanche, Grenache Blanc and Viognier.