Leading Chinese winemaker Changyu has disclosed an aggressive multi-billion-yuan investment plan to bid for a larger share of the country’s booming wine market.
According to a report in Tuesday’s Nanfang Daily, the plan involves the construction of a town-sized “wine park” on an area of 6,200 mu (413 hectares) in north China’s coastal city of Yantai.
Changyu, whose total revenue was slightly over 6 billion yuan in 2011, is aiming to pump 6 billion yuan (944 million U.S. dollars) into the facility and have it open by 2016, the report said.
The park will feature themed graperies, a winery, a trading center and research facilities, it added.
The news follows an earlier announcement from the 120-year-old listed winemaker that it is considering contracting 3,000 licensed outlets across the country in six years to directly reach customers.
China’s wine consumption surged 13 percent in 2011, according to industry data, which also showed a dramatic 80.9-percent increase in the value of imported wine.
Having overtaken the United Kingdom to become the fifth-largest wine market in 2011, China is expected to become the largest wine consumer over the next 20 years if the growth rates remains at around 20 percent, said a report from London-based International Wine and Spirit Research.
Moreover, Chinese authorities are introducing policies to encourage domestic wine makers to upgrade their product quality.
As of Sunday, companies wanting a license to compete in the grape wine industry will need to pass a checklist that sets rigid requirements in terms of capacity and other credentials.
Investment institutions believe the elimination of small and low-end wine firms will help improve this industry in China.