Thursday, August 04, 2011

Richmond Times Dispatch Reports Barboursville to Export to China

Va. winery to export wine to China
By: Olympia Meola
Published: August 03, 2011
Barboursville Vineyards has reached an agreement to export its wines to China in what the McDonnell administration believes marks the first commercial transaction between a Virginia winery and a Chinese importer.

About a dozen Virginia wineries export their products, mostly to the United Kingdom, but several are eyeing the growing Chinese market.

Gov. Bob McDonnell and his entourage carried products from seven Virginia wineries on his recent trade trip to Japan, China and South Korea. The Barboursville deal with the Tianjin Tewoo Group is a result of discussions stemming from that mission.

The winery will ship more than 500 cases of its Octagon 2008, Viognier Reserve 2009, Phileo, Malvaxia Passito 2008, Cabernet Franc Reserve 2008, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 and Merlot 2009. The winery declined to disclose the monetary value of the agreement.

The initial agreement represents a small sector of Barboursville's gross production, but there's a larger significance in entering that market for the Orange County-based winery founded in 1976 by Gianni and Silvana Zonin.

"As Barboursville reflects to celebrate its 35th anniversary in Virginia, I can think of no better way to look toward the future than expanding our sales into China, one of the world's largest wine import markets," said Luca Paschina, Barboursville's winemaker and general manager.
Virginia is the nation's fifth-largest wine producer and seventh-largest wine grape producer. The industry employs about 3,000 people in Virginia and contributes almost $350 million to the state economy annually, according to a 2005 economic impact study, the most recent one.

The number of wineries in Virginia has grown from 120 in 2005 to nearly 200. A new study is planned for fiscal 2012. (804) 649-6812

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