Allegrini 2018

China, complex market, but it is possible to grow: Piccini case history, at +50% year on year

For the group led by Mario Piccini, who has opened a garrison in Shanghai, the Dragon Country is worth 8% of turnover

China, for Italian wine, is still a great promise. Yet, it remains a market to invest in because, according to all the international analyses, it will be the first consumer market for wine in a few years, and a country like Italy, which is the largest wine producer in the world (a record that alternates, from time to time, with France) cannot be content with representing a market share that, according to the most positive estimates, is around 7%. Also because it can grow concretely, as evidenced by the case history of Piccini, one of the best known realities of the Chianti galaxy, and that with the Tenute Piccini puts together over 150 hectares of vineyards in Tuscany, with the Fattoria di Valiano, in Chianti Classico (70 hectares of vineyards), Tenuta Moraia in Maremma (60 hectares), Villa Cortile in Montalcino (12 hectares) and Chianti Geografico, Sicily, with Torre Mora, on Etna (12 hectares), and Basilicata, with Regio Cantina, in Venosa, land of Aglianico del Vulture, with 12 hectares).
The winery, led by Mario Piccini, which recently opened its own stable garrison in Shanghai, has recorded a growth in exports to China of 50% year on year, with the company exporting its wines to 80 countries around the world (with a turnover in 2018 of more than 64 million Euros, ed.).

“Our strategy in China is to oversee and get to know this extremely varied and vast territory from a socio-cultural point of view, hence the decision to open a Piccini headquarters in Shanghai - explains Mario Piccini - and the distribution strategy is based on a development of the traditional channel and strategies aimed at increasing customer loyalty, choices that are almost obligatory when we talk about such a complex and new world, if observed from the eyes of a Chinese consumer, which is Italian wine. A strategy that is currently paying off”.

In a market, however, far from simple, where “the main difficulties - Piccini continues - are represented by competition from producer countries such as Australia and Chile which enjoy free trade agreements, unlike Italian wines taxed at rates ranging from 14 to 20% depending on the type of wine. On the premium range, on the other hand, our products clash with France: wines from beyond the Alps can enjoy excellent positioning, driven by brand-icons ranging from Chateaux Bordeaux to Champagne maisons, passing through the prestigious cru of Burgundy. Other difficulties are represented by the instability of the market, 2018 closed with a minus sign in terms of volume of imported wine. We are talking about a -4% on 2017 with a negative trend confirmed in the first half of 2019, linked to the turbulence of the world markets, on all the US-China tensions, but also to the weakening of the Yuan that has been going on for 5 years now, up to the lack of experience on the part of importers and distributors who over time have accumulated stocks without an adequate distribution strategy. However, it is necessary to consider that wine imports into China have almost increased tenfold in the last 10 years while per capita consumption is still just over a liter per capita, and therefore there are important growth margins”.

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