By Jim Boyce | Do April Fool’s jokes come true? This year, I joked about a new wine-baijiu product—waijiu!—aimed at conquering the world booze market. And today mega-Australian winery Penfolds announced it is making a wine-baijiu product for China!
Coincidence? You decide!
States Penfolds: “Lot. 518 is a Spirited Wine – a premium fortified Barossa Shiraz (94%) enlivened with Baijiu; scheduled for release in September 2018.”
TWE and Penfolds have been in the China hot seat recently due to reports of a massive amount of entry-level stock flooding the market.
According to Bloomberg, the alcohol level of the new product will be 21.5 percent, much less boozy that your aveerage baijiu. It also quoted Penfolds chief winemaker [and baijiu aficionado?] Peter Gago as saying “This will broaden our base and help future-proof Penfolds.”
Anyway, for all the foreign media coverage of grape wine in China, including of the country’s own increasingly good local brands, it still only holds a small fraction of the market share of baijiu. So maybe Penfolds is onto something here!
World Baijiu Day is August 9. See the 2017 events here. Sign up for 2018 here. And follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. I also run the China wine site Grape Wall and nightlife site Beijing Boyce.