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Internet giant Alibaba Group Holding is betting that a country known for sipping black tea will develop a taste for Napa Valley red.
The e-commerce company will offer Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and other varieties to its 367 million Chinese customers through its online store Tmall, announced a partnership Tuesday with owner Mondavi Constellation Brands.
Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma Yun fights slowing sales growth and a Chinese economy in difficulty in importing popular brands such as Converse trainers and Levi jeans.
Tmall Vineyard DirectThe agreement with Constellation Brands marks the beginning of "Tmall Vineyard Direct", scheduled to present cellars worldwide. Alibaba executives last week visited the Mondavi winery in Napa Valley, California, north of San Francisco and are looking for additional partners.
Alibaba and NetEase
The agreement gives one of the major brands of America's first wine investment plan in one of the most dynamic markets in the wine world, where American wines were overshadowed by exports from France, Australia and Chile. Demand among Chinese consumers is faster than domestic production, creating an unprecedented opportunity for international labels, according to a study by April Wine Economics Research Centre at the University of Adelaide in Australia . Wine consumption in China reached 15.8 million hectoliters last year, an increase of 45 percent compared to 2000. The country has also more than doubled its planting of vines, as International Organisation of Vine and some wine. The labels of the wines of France were No. 1 imported by China last year, accounting for 34 percent in volume, while the sixth US has less than 5 percent, according to Chinese customs data. The value of exports of US wines to China fell 7.7 percent last year to $ 71 million.
tmallThe Mondavi deal on Tmall, online the largest store in China, will send the wine labels, such as Twin Oaks and Woodbridge - at a price of US $ 15 to US $ 20 a bottle - to China that its consumers look middle-shelf options due to the economic slowdown. Historically, the US has not had "a lot of wine exports," said Tyler Colman, author of the popular blog Dr. Vino wine. "It was mostly for the prestige of our wines are saying to this restaurant in London or Copenhagen or Tokyo." The Alibaba agreement opens a new frontier for Constellation Brands, based in New York, which generated 89 percent of its US $ 6 billion in sales of beer, wine and spirits in the United States in the year to February. source Zhongguowine
Chinese tourists everywhere !
Chinese tourists have become more important in the Napa Valley and now account for about one third of the 200,000 visitors to the Mondavi winery each year, said Philip Kingston, head of international sales Constellation. In 2013, the winery began offering tours in Mandarin and Cantonese, hoping tourists get a taste for wines from the Napa Valley.
Alibaba other investment
Robert Mondavi has become an iconic brand since its founder created the vineyards of Napa Valley nearly 60 years ago. On Tmall, it will compete with wines from France, Australia and Chili.