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Aussie wine landmark: Stick your fancy châteaus, France — there’s a new #1 in China

Sales of Australian wine into China have overtaken French wines for the first time.

France’s grip of the Chinese market has become famous, and spectacularly documented in 2013 film Red Obsession.

But data from Wine Australia shows local wine exports to China (including Hong Kong and Macau) for the 12 months to June had reached a financial-year ­record, increasing 7 per cent in value to $1.2 billion.

“”What is really good news for the industry is the cheaper values have actually dropped in exports,” Tony Battaglene, chief executive of Australian Grape and Wine, told Ross and John this morning.

“So we’re seeing increased value from decreased volume.”

Mr Battaglene said the Chinese are obsessed by prestige brands — “they love Penfolds, and they love our top value wines,” he said.

“I think it’s about time we lost our cultural cringe.

“We’ve got a great image, it’s time we stop thinking we’re second-best to France.

“(French wine Château) Latour and Penfolds are probably the (top) two (brands in China).

“The other good (Australian) one is Yellow Tail.”

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