WINE: Direct-to-China E-commerce Platform


American Wine Merchants launches direct-to-China e-commerce platform
美国酒商推出AWM 天猫电商平台

By Ron Hendricks
罗恩·亨德里克斯

February 8, 2017
2017 年2 月8 日

Shanghai, China – In cooperation with the California Wine Institute, the Washington Wine
Board, the New York Wine and Grape Foundation, and the Oregon Wine Commission, which are
all supported by the United States Foreign Agricultural Service and its regional Agricultural
Trade Office in mainland China, the American Wine Merchants (AWM) is pleased to announce
the launch of their flagship USA Wine Store on Alibaba’s Tmall.

美国酒商(AWM)宣布美国葡萄酒旗舰店将在天猫商城上正式运营。美国酒商(AWM)
上海与加州葡萄酒协会,华盛顿葡萄酒协会,纽约葡萄酒协会和俄勒冈葡萄酒协会合作联
合推广美国葡萄酒。上述葡萄酒协会也受到美国农业部海外局及其中国区农产品贸易办公
室的支持。

“This is a tremendous opportunity for US wine brands to reach end consumers in China,” said
AWM Manager, Alex Chen. “Our goal is to provide a central marketplace for USA wine products
in mainland China. We’re especially pleased to partner with Tmall, as it is poised to become the
world’s largest e-commerce marketplace by the end of 2018,” remarked Chen.

“这是一个极好的机会,美国葡萄酒将与中国的葡萄酒爱好者见面,“AWM 经理亚历克
斯·陈说,“我们的目标是为中国葡萄酒爱好者建立一个值得信赖的选购美国葡萄酒中心。
2018 年底,阿里巴巴平台将成为世界上最大的电子商务市场,我们很荣幸能与阿里巴巴
合作。”

“Another important goal of the project is to deliver wine information in Chinese as well as
English,” stated Mr. Chen. “Our aim is to create U.S. wine awareness through education,
marketing and promotion.”

“这个项目的另一个重要的意义是搭建一个传播葡萄酒知识的平台,”陈先生说,“我们
希望通过教育、营销和促销创建人们对美国葡萄酒的认知度。”

“We are especially proud to have the support of the key United States wine groups that are
backed by the United States Foreign Agricultural Service and its regional Agricultural Trade
Office in mainland China in this ‘first-of-a-kind’ cooperative partnership,” said Chen. “Tmall
already boasts 500 million plus registered users in China and with the right marketing and
promotional activities we believe we can reach each and every one of these users and help
grow US wines in China.”

“我们特别自豪的是天猫电商项目获得了美国主要的葡萄酒组织的支持。这些葡萄酒组织
受美国农业部海外局及其中国区农产品贸易办公室的大力支持,”陈先生说。“淘宝在中
国拥有5 亿多注册用户,结合AWM 恰当的营销模式和促销活动,我们相信AWM 可以将
好酒传递到中国葡萄酒爱好者的手中,并提高美国葡萄酒在中国的认可度。”

AWM encourages and welcomes all USA wineries, importers and distributors to have their
products sold through the AWM-Tmall Store.

另外AWM 欢迎所有美国葡萄酒厂、进口商和分销商的产品在AWM 天猫商城上销售。

Contact/联系方式
For additional information about the AWM-Tmall Store, please contact:
更多的AWM 天猫商城的信息,请联系
Wendy Zhang, Media Relations
Office/办公室: +86.21.6403.0934
Fax/传真: +86.21.6403.0934
Email/邮箱: wendy@amwines.com

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Wine Wars


A Glass of Red Wine
A Glass of Red Wine

Where does the best wine come from?

Wine lovers are passionate people. If you doubt this, simply ask a devotee or two the question above. Be prepared, however. The answers are sure to be varied, entertaining and (hopefully) enlightening.

At some point, an element of regional pride may creep into the conversation. For example:  “I KNOW the best wines come from my hometown!”

Actually, I am fairly certain that some of the best wines DO come from my hometown of Walla Walla, Washington.  By way of evidence, I point to the list of top 100 wines published every year by Wine Spectator Magazine.*

Pick any year and scroll down the page. You are almost certain to find one or two (or more) Walla Walla wines featured.  Okay, okay enough of this; see what I mean about wine lovers being passionate?

Anyway, let’s step back from the debate for a moment and offer up some objectivity by way of a brief history lesson.

The “common” grape

Fine wines are made from a particular species of grape known as Vitis vinifera. Wild varieties of Vitis vinifera are believed to have originated from the Mediterranean, central European, and southwestern Asian regions. Nowadays, Vitis vinifera grapes are cultivated on every continent except Antarctica.

The earliest evidence of winemaking practices can be found in Egyptian hieroglyphics, as well as in Roman and Greek texts. In ancient times, wine grape cultivation and winemaking seems to have been primarily reserved for the ruling class.

Roots of modern winemaking

During the European Renaissance (14th to 16th centuries) wine grape cultivation and wine-making began a shift from traditional methods to more scientific ones.  As European countries (notably France, Italy and Spain) began to colonize the world, they took their grapes and wines with them. Because of this, an important distinction arose between the New World (the colonies) and the Old World (the colonizers).

Old World vs. New World

Why is the distinction between Old World and New World wines important? There are several reasons. Let’s talk about a few of them…

Regulation

Winemakers in Old World countries have been making wine the same way for centuries. This is because of restrictions placed upon them by governmental and/or other supervisory organizations. On the one hand, this regulation assures a continuation of heritage and tradition. On the other hand it leaves little room for variety or experimentation.

True to the pioneering spirit, New World winemakers are afforded more freedom to follow their own concept for a particular vintage. It is also often easier for New World winemakers to incorporate the newest discoveries, techniques and advances in technology into their wine-making process.

One of the ways in which New World does follow Old is by way of a system of Appellation. The word “appellation” comes from the French verb “appeler.” It means ‘to call or name.”

Appellations are used to identify the particular source of grapes used in wine. Usually, it is a legally defined geographic region, but can also require other specifications as well. Each country has its own rules for bestowing Appellation status.

Of course, Old World Appellations have been in place for centuries. New World appellations are still being granted.

I remember when our Walla Walla Valley gained this distinction. The year was 1984 and, at that time, there were really only a handful of wineries and vineyards in the area. My sister-in-law had been tasked with helping to fill out the AVA paperwork. AVA stands for American Viticultural Area.

Although we were a fairly small “band of believers,” it was still very exciting when we got word the Walla Walla Valley Appellation had been recognized. Somehow we knew that our little valley was destined for great things in the world of wine. (Oops! There is that passion thing again.)

Vive la difference!

To be sure, there is no lack of variety among Old World wines. With such rich histories and diversity of language and culture, how could there not be? In addition to stricter regulation, however, there are other factors to consider when discussing the topic of New World wines vs. Old World wines.

In my next post I would like to delve into the concept of “Terroir,” (another word borrowed from the French).

Until then, try not to let your passion get the better of you!

Ciao for now,

Ron

* http://top100.winespectator.com/lists/

(About the writer: In the late 1970’s, Ron Hendricks partnered with his father and brother to establish Seven Hills Vineyards, the first commercial vineyard in the Walla Walla Valley Appellation. This small region in the southeast corner of Washington State regularly produces world class, award-winning wines. Ron is an author, teacher and wine lover who has lived in China since 2004.)

 

 

It’s Time to Die (movie)


A final message from an ex-military buddy brings Josh to a bar on a Chinese island where he is trapped in the perfect tropical storm.

Hey guys, we need your help. Please check out the video above and share with your family and friends!

A Canton Christmas


901056549718538I usually order a tall brewed coffee at my neighborhood Starbucks. It’s the cheapest drink on the menu. Today, in honor of the holiday season, I’ve ordered a nutmeg latte. While I wait for my beverage, I hum along with the Muzak. “Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful, and since we’ve no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!” Although it never snows in Guangzhou, I could just as easily be standing in line in downtown Seattle.

Coffee and Christmas have come to China in a big way. My nutmeg latte, incidentally, costs 32 RMB which is about $5.25 at current exchange rates. Make that coffee, Christmas and capitalism. In my neighborhood alone I can choose from a half dozen coffee shops. And Christmas decorations – don’t get me started!

I have a snapshot of workers erecting a Merry Christmas sign above the entry to our local mall. It’s dated October 25th, six days before Halloween and exactly two whole months before Christmas. Of course, Christmas is not a government holiday so there is no time off from work. But that does not seem to impede the commercial possibilities.

For me, Christmas is about traditions – family, friends, food and festivities- and, of course, there is the religious tradition as well. The first four traditions can be found in abundance during Chinese Spring Festival, which falls on January 28th, 2017. Religious tradition can also be found in China, although in lesser amounts.

My first year in China (2004) I attended a Chinese Catholic mass with a colleague on a cold Christmas Eve. We were in Jiangxi Province at the time; in a city that had a rather scarce supply of laowai (foreigners). Our plan was to slip quietly into the back row, listen for a while and then slip out as quietly as we came in. That was our plan.

Our plan changed dramatically, however, when the priest glanced up from his text and noticed two odd strangers sitting in the back. He instantly ordered two chairs be brought down front. You would have thought we were two of the three Magi as we sheepishly walked down the center aisle. The congregation stood up and began to applaud – so much for slipping out quietly!

 

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How Now Tsingtao?


Cheers! Or is it Tseers?!

China Bride Blog

Tsingtao Beer Tsingtao Beer

Tsingtao (pronounced: ching-dow) was first brewed in 1903 in the Northeastern port town of Qingdao. According to their website, Tsingtao is “the #1 consumer product exported from China.” It was first introduced to the United States in 1972 and can now be found in 62 countries and regions around the world.

Chinese beer tends to be lighter, low-alcohol pale lager with Tsingtao as the classic example; historically the most widely recognized Chinese beer label. In recent years China’s Snow label has overtaken world markets and now reigns as the number one selling beer in the world. The title is a bit misleading, however, as Snow represents a broad range of beers.

The complexity of Chinese cuisine presents some unique challenges when pairing with European style wines. Faced with this prospect, a default choice is quite often beer. The good news is the art of Eastern-Western food…

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Pardon Me, But Your Knee Is On Fire


Ron's Blog

My friend Brian and I were both limping on the same leg. What I mean is, HE was limping on HIS right leg and I was limping on MINE. Or maybe it was his left. Anyway, it doesn’t matter.

Brian claims his limp is from an old football injury that occasionally flares. I think he slipped in some buffalo wing sauce during Super Bowl halftime. No, wait. Brian is British. Make that World Cup and malt vinegar. I finally went to a doctor and found out what my problem was. Osteoarthritis. But I am getting ahead of my story.

We hobbled around for about a week and things did not seem to be getting any better. It finally got serious when neither one of us could make it up the stairs of our favorite Chinese Pub (is that an oxymoron?). The pub is in the basement, so we were trying…

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Can International Buyers Order from Taobao?


PDC 2012Buyers outside of China can buy from Taobao – but you will need some help with Communication, Shipping and Payment. We recommend using a good Taobao Agent – a service that specializes in helping people overseas buy from Taobao. They will help you communicate with the Taobao vendors, collect and check your goods to make sure there aren’t any quality defects, and consolidate your orders into a single, efficient shipment. They typically charge a percentage of your order as a commission, but it usually ends up being worth it when you compare the savings they can offer on international shipping, and all the hassle they help you avoid. (more…)