Sunday, July 17, 2011

What Foreign Country Likes a USDA Organic Label? Surprise - It's China

Katrina Frey stands next to wine headed for China
As more U.S. and other global producers find a market for their wines in China, one wine type - USDA Organic - is a new standout, as Redwood Valley's Frey Wines is finding out.

Winemakers have been clever in marketing their wines - rock stars have privately branded labels from Parducci, for example, and even the New York Times is marketing "Australian BBQ Grill" wines in today's paper. Tales abound of Chinese restauranteurs swooping into Napa and buying $35,0000 of wine (at full retail prices) and then heading home to mark them up 100%+. Or Chinese have been known (as others) to recycle the label of an expensive wine onto a not so expensive one.

But few are following the yellow brick road to Chinese markets via the organic path.

Frey Vineyards Ltd. Executive Director Katrina Frey says the Chinese, with so many labeling scandals on food labeling in their own country, feel more secure with a USDA certified organic label on Frey's wines, which are being imported into China. 

Frey's distributor says that wine marketing is done in China via dinners in which the wines are sampled.

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