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    Update to Chateau Lafite’s Chinese Story – $$

    October 29, 2010 12:26 pm - Posted by Kevin in Drink

    As a follow up to our blog yesterday, UK merchants are reporting selling out of Chateau Lafite Rothschild 2008 following the news that the bottles will carry the Chinese symbol for 8 when the wine is bottled next year.

    On Tuesday morning UK time, the price of a case of Chateau Lafite Rothschild 2008 was trading at £8,500 on trading platform Liv-ex. By Wednesday lunchtime it had risen to £10,160, a rise of just under 20%.

    The message is clear, major European producers understand that the Chinese market represents a huge opportunity. But what we find most exciting as we’ve travelled across China and spent weeks in Hong Kong is that the region is emerging as a hub for production as well. As the years go on China will be a collector, consumer and producer, and that legitimizes the market.

    Congrats to Rothschild for getting in early.

    The future of luxury goods is being written in the boardrooms of France and China. For wine the new New World is calling.

    As Wine Portfolio’s episode on Wine in China proved there is a large and ever growing market for fine wine in the Middle Kingdom. The rapidly expanding economy, Chinese love for luxury brands, and a new appreciation for wine (especially French wine) make the market attractive for foreign investment. And Chateau Lafite Rothchild has responded in a big way demonstrating that they understand the direction of the global luxury market for the next 20 years.

    A spokesperson for Lafite owner Domaines Barons de Rothschild said Chateau Lafite Rothschild’s 2008 bottle is to feature the Chinese symbol for the figure eight in celebration of the First Growth’s new vineyard venture in China. The symbol reflects Lafite ‘s partnership with CTIC, China’s largest state-owned investment company.  The company has acquired 25 hectares in a joint venture on the peninsula of Penglai in Shandong province, an area we featured in our Chinese episode that is said to be China’s Bordeaux.

    The spokesperson explained the reasoning for adding the auspices figure to their bottles was to, “remind all those who will have the pleasure of drinking these wines in a few years of this exciting undertaking.”

    As Jody and the team saw when we visited Penglai, China is an emerging consumer of wine and wants to be an emerging producer. Lafite clearly gets this.