Chinese winemaker begins local production

China’s third largest winemaker, Wei Long Grape Wine Company, has begun processing its first vintage at a purpose-built vineyard and winery near Mildura in Victoria.

The vintage will involve processing 25,000 tonnes of mainly red wine grapes for production and export to the booming Chinese export market.

The launch of the company’s first vintage was reported in the local Sunraysia Daily newspaper.

“We planned to have the wine bottled by the end of the year, and on sale for Chinese New Year in January 2020,” Wei Long’s Australian general manager, Bruno Zappia was reported as saying.

“The company has enough faith in the region to have an investment of this size.”

Wei Long entered Australia two years ago, investing $75 million in Mildura and employing 28 permanent local staff with plans to grow and produce wine for export.

The China export market is worth more than $1.2 billion a year with Wei Long joining Adelaide’s Harbourside Bottling as a second winery by-passing the local market in favour of the bigger prize.

According to Bloomberg Wei Long produces and sells organic, red, white, green, rosé, sweet, and sparkling wines, grape special liquor, and brandy in China.

The company was founded in 2007 and is based in Longkou, China.

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