Ernst Loosen (pic: WeChat)

Ernst Loosen (pic: WeChat)

Germany's renowned wine producer Dr Loosen is doubling down its effort on China.

Dr Loosen has accelerated its China strategy by officially launching a locally registered Chinese company, as part of a larger effort to expand its market presence in response to the increasing demand for German wines in this vast market.

According to the over 200-year-old winery’s announcement in Chinese, the local company is expected to introduce a broader range of Dr. Loosen’s wine offerings, sourced from both Germany and international regions such as the United States, Australia, and Spain; and expand its market penetration, with more branding and promotion activities.

Along with the creation of the new company, the winery has also debuted on China’s mega app WeChat with an official Chinese WeChat account, becoming the latest to join a handful of wineries utilizing China’s social media platforms to communicate directly to Chinese trade and consumers.

The Mosel based winery makes a range of Rieslings from bone dry style to lusciously sweet wines. It also collaborates with esteemed partners such as Chateau Ste. Michelle in the US and Jim Barry winery in Australia to produce Riesling collections.

New Distributions

The launch of the new Chinese company also means that the winery will be the sole importer of all brands under Dr Loosen for mainland China market, after it has parted ways with its longtime importer Summergate Fine Wines & Spirits in May. The importer was recently acquired by China’s B2B drinks platform through private equity firm Gravity Capital, though the details of the transaction remain undisclosed.

For Hong Kong and Macau, the brands will be imported and distributed by Kerry Wines effective from June onwards.

Rising Riesling

According to the winery, the decision also comes at a time when German wine exports to the Chinese market outperformed market average in the past two years, thanks to changing consumer preference for off-dry, fruity whites powered by millennials and Gen-z.

In both 2021 and 2022, German wines experienced notable growth in export to China, according to data published by China Associaiton for Imports and Exports of Wine and Spirits (CAWS), beating an overwhelming downward market trend.

As one of Germany’s biggest and most known wine producers, in 2022, Dr. Loosen accounted for 15% of total German wine imports by value to China and 13% by volume, affirming the winery’s leading role in German wines and its commitment to invest in China.

The rise in popularity of German wines, particularly Rieslings, can be attributed to the changing tastes of Chinese consumers, especially the younger generation. In recent years, there has been a noticeable shift towards white wines, and Rieslings have garnered a devoted following. Capturing the palates and taste buds of China’s younger drinkers is now deemed as a top priority for the winery’s future plans in the market.

Describing the Chinese market as a “critical” and “irreplaceable” part of its global strategy, the winery says it remains steadfast in its pursuit of success in the Chinese market. By prioritizing brand-driven operations and localized management, the winery aims to achieve sustainable growth and solidify its position as a key player in the Chinese wine industry.

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