Australia’s most exported wine brand, Yellow Tail, has launched its Chile-made Yellow Tail range for the Chinese market this month to sidestep China’s punishing tariffs on Australian wine, the company has told Vino Joy News.
The wine is understood to have been sourced from one of Chile’s biggest producers, Santa Carolina, and the range will be called ‘Yellow Tail World Series‘.
The strategy follows another Australian wine giant Treasury Wine Estates’ earlier footsteps to bypass tariffs by making Rawson’s Retreat in South Africa for the Chinese market. Its flagship brand Penfolds, more reliant on Chinese market, is also set to launch its Chinese Penfolds in second half of the year.
According to the company, the range includes four varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot, and Chardonnay, and is available in mainland China starting from this month.
In an email reply to Vino Joy News, Libby Nutt, General Manager of Marketing and Export Sales, commented, “We have a fantastic and loyal consumer base in China, where [yellow tail] wines have been available since 2007. We are excited to launch [yellow tail] World Series so we can continue to offer consumers everything they have come to expect from the [yellow tail] brand – great wines full of flavor, from a brand with a fun and vibrant personality.”
The wine is sold at RMB 53 (US$8) a bottle on China’s leading e-commerce platform JD.com, or RMB 318 (US$48) for a case of six.
China was one of Yellow Tail’s top five export markets before the country formally imposed up to 218% anti-dumping tariffs on Australian wines last March.
But different from Penfolds, Yellow Tail owned by Casella Family Brands was never heavily leaned towards Chinese market. China accounted for only 3% of Casella’s annual turnover based on its 2020 financial report. In comparison, a quarter of premium Penfolds were sold to China before the tariffs.
Yellow Tail today counts the US as its biggest market. The American market makes up over 50% of Yellow Tail’s global sales volume, and the brand is ranked as No.1 imported wine brand in the US.