Chinese threats and what they could mean for local wine
CHINA'S thirst for Queensland wine hasn't dissipated, despite increasing tensions between the Chinese and Australian Government's.
The Asian nation fuelled escalating trade tensions with Australia earlier this week by blocking meat exports from some of the country's largest abattoirs.
For now, that strain is yet to trickle down to wine exports.
That is despite Chinese Ambassador Cheng Jingye stating in the Australian Financial Review, 'Why should we drink Australian wine? Eat Australian beef?'"
Granite Belt wine predominantly sells within Queensland and to other domestic markets.
But some, like Ballandean Estate Wine, have struck up partnerships with Chinese wholesalers to ensure growth outside of Australia.
"We probably only send one or two shipments a year to China which we've done already this year," Ballandean Estate Wines' Robyn Puglisi-Henderson said.
"What we do export is fairly small.
"We just don't have a lot of stock after three years of drought.
"You've got to have it to sell it," she said.
China is their sole international trade partner these days.
They had sold into the English market for 15 years and also had business with the United States, Taiwan and Singapore.
"The customers we have in China have come back a number of times now. They're wholesale, not individual customers.
"So there's been no real significant impact for us right now," Ms Puglisi-Henderson said.
Queensland's largest winemaking entity, Sirromet Wines, has reduced the size of the their shipments to China this year but continues to maintain a solid partnership
"It's quite a precarious situation we have at the present time," Sirromet's chief winemaker Mike Hayes said.
"Sirromet recently sent a container over to China for our internal supplies warehouse.
"China and the lack of global trade is definitely having an impact on Australian wine sales, however most producers on the Granite Belt are either too small or simply haven`t the volume required to service the Chinese market continually.
"Most producers wine supply is consumed and purchased at the cellar door with small supplies filtering out to the Brisbane restaurants.
"The world will take a while to reopen fully and I perceive domestic sales will underpin the wineries cash flow for some time yet," Mr Hayes said.