What on Earth can explain the difference of pricing between a bottle of wine priced at 100RMB versus one that costs several thousands?
This is a very legitimate question, which calls for a quite complex ans wer, that we'll try to explain today.
It all starts when growing grapes: all year round, winemakers and their teams conduct works on the soil, prune their vines, apply treatment to protect them and finally harvest the grapes.
The cost of the workforce and equipment varies from a winery to another and depends on factors such as the topography of the land (steep vineyards don't allow for mechanization and will bear higher costs than flat lands), the weather (humidity level, occurrence of frost...) or the type of methods used (conventional vs. organic).
Premium wines are more expensive as they may be made with the help of famous œnologists, use services from expensive laboratories, use new oak barrels instead of stainless steel or concrete tanks for fermentation and/or ageing, bottle their wines with higher quality glass, labels and corks or store them for a period of time before releasing on the market.
Read our article about oak barrels
Once the wine is made, wineries have to bring it to the wine lovers around the world. Naturally, marketing and communication costs will affect the final bill, as well as transportation if the wine is shipped overseas, from France to China, for example.
In China, imported wines are subject to varying levels of tariffs depending on the country of orgin. For example, Chilean wines benefit from zero import tariff which explain their lower final price than those from France, on which customs collect up to 46% of import taxes.
The prestige of a specific winery or appellation (wine region) has a lot to do with the price that a customer is ready to pay for a bottle. For example, the ancestral history of a grand cru from Burgundy, the renowed quality of its soil and rarity of its products will help justifying the difference of pricing compared to a less prestigious wine from the Languedoc. This will also explain the difference in the price of an hectare of vines between two regions.
Supply and demand
Sadly, wine is not spared by market laws, and the wines coming from small but honored regions or wineries, released in limited quantities and coming from exceptional vintages will be highly sought after, explaining a raise in price. Those receiving high scores from famous wine crirics will also often be sold at higher prices.
See what are the most expensive wines
Hopefully this article has brought some light on that tricky question, and will help you make better choices in your future wine shopping!
Founded in 2018 by Matthieu Ventelon, Hedonia is the first institution in China combining professional Wine and Etiquette expertise in the same training offer.
Find more information on our website : http://en.hedonia.cn