Only a few years ago, you would be hard-pressed to find a decent bottle of wine in Shanghai. However, China’s booming economy has recently attracted high-end restaurants, wine bars, boutiques and wine-education programs to Shanghai. The target clientele is mostly a mix of wealthy expatriates, high-flying executives on business and nouveau riche Chinese.
As the major port city and by some measures the wealthiest city in China, Shanghai is the natural home for the wine scene to start in China. Portofolio.com profiles the rise of the wine scene in Shanghai, citing “the number of premium-wine importers has jumped from three in 1999 to more than a hundred today.”
Alberto Fernandez, owner of Torres China, a wine importer and distributor describes Shanghai’s unique position within China:
“Shanghai accounts for 50 percent of our volume and is much further along in terms of development than other major Chinese cities, not only in the number of fine dining outlets, five-star hotels, and retail outlets, but especially in terms of consumer habits, expenditure, and sophistication”.