Alex Li of Wajiu Group and Miguel Torres of Familia Torres (pic: handout)

Alex Li of Wajiu Group and Miguel Torres of Familia Torres (pic: handout)

In a significant shakeup of key players in China’s wine imported business, Torres China will be acquired by now Wajiu-owned Summergate through a partnership agreement.

In a significant shakeup of key players in China’s wine imported business, Torres China will be acquired by now Wajiu-owned Summergate through a partnership agreement that aims to “drive the next stage of imported wine business in China,” according to a joint press release.

The news was officially announced at a signing ceremony attended by Alex Li, CEO of Wajiu, the B2B wine and spirits platform, and Miguel Torres, CEO of Familia Torres, in Shanghai today.

The alliance essentially gives Wajiu control over Torres China, one of the earliest and biggest wine importing companies in China. It came just months after Summergate was acquired by Wajiu from Woolswotth through private equity firm Gravity Capital for an undisclosed amount, as we have reported.

The deal marks a major step for the Beijing-based company as it is seemingly on a buying spree to burnish its fine wine portfolio as part of preparations for what many speculated to be a rumored IPO, when its fast growth in the past decade was mainly associated with driving affordable wine sales.

According to the official press release, the agreement will allow Familia Torres to invest in Summergate under Wajiu to “drive the next stage of imported wine business in China” and in exchange Summergate will acquire Torres China.

Founded in 1999 by Familia Torres as a distributing company in China. It was one of the first Spanish wine importers in China and in less than 10 years grown to be one of the country’s biggest, representing 400 wines including Vega Sicilia, Joseph Drouhin, Champagne Tattinger and Pio Cesare.

Group photo of Wajiu Group, Summergate and Familia Torres representatives (pic: handout)

Speaking of the deal, Miguel Torres Maczassek, CEO of Familia Torres, said: “we are very pleased with this partnership with the new summergate because I am convinced it will assure a bright future for all the brands that we have had the honor to represent during all these years in China through our company Torres China.”

Echoing this sentiment, Berny Yang, General Manager of Summergate Greater China, emphasized the changing market dynamics and the shared vision of Torres China and Summergate. “We recognize the imperative need to adapt in order to unlock the immense potential that lies ahead. It is an honor for Summergate to be recognized by Familia Torres for this strategic partnership. We have been deeply inspired by their resolute commitment to building their brands in China, and we admire Torres China’s remarkable achievements in setting such high service standards. Summergate is determined to carry forward their legacy alongside Familia Torres.”

“Mergers and acquisitions form a pivotal part of Wajiu’s global expansion strategy,” explained Eric Yang, General Manager of Wajiu International. “Our decisions are driven not only by expanding our distribution breadth but also by extending our reach and fostering synergies. Summergate and Torres China epitomize how digitalization and robust warehousing logistics support from the WAJIU Group can amplify their customer service capabilities and add value to brands. This approach will be emulated by our Wajiu International team in numerous overseas markets, particularly now that we have more esteemed business partners onboard.”

Elated by the prospects, Alex Li, Chairman and CEO of Wajiu Group, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “As the Wajiu Group, we deeply value our relationship with Familia Torres and eagerly anticipate the synergistic benefits that this merger will bring. We firmly believe that the Chinese wine market will soon become a more efficient and mature industry, powered by the confluence of exceptional brands and formidable distribution channels empowered by the internet and information technology.”

However, the press release did not mention if under the new ownership structure Torres China’s staff will be retained or how it will affect the brands currently represented by Torres China. An internal email sent out by Torres China management today, seen by Vino Joy News, seems to indicate the company just broke the news to its wineries and is requesting conference calls with them “at earliest convenience” to explain the deal in detail.


Established in 2014 by Alex Li, Wajiu has emerged as a strong advocate for demystifying and destigmatizing wine. Its growth strategy centers on promoting everyday, affordable and at times cheap OEM wines in China, in contrast to the prevailing focus among larger wine importers on brand building and fostering a ritualistic wine culture.

Convinced that Chinese consumers are not concerned with countries of origin, varietals, or winemaking techniques, Li attributes wine’s lack of popularity to its inaccessible price tags. “You don’t need to delve into culture, consumption behaviors, or stories,” he asserted in an interview with Chinese media discussing wine promotion. “The reason why beer gained rapid popularity is because it does not cause a dent in your wallet. I believe that when wine is sold at reasonable prices without the veil of luxury, it will soon become popular.”

Headquarted in Beijing, Wajiu Group offers services including global wine trading, international supply chain, integrated domestic warehousing and delivery services, wine brand cooperation and promotion, and other businesses. It has three subsidories, Wajiu International, Wajiu Service and Wajiu China.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: