Wine in China: You have worked in BBR( Berry Bros& Rudd) as Purchase Director for many years, what occasion has made you leave BBR and join VATs?
Alun Griffiths: It takes a great occasion to persuade me leave BBR, ant that’s what VATS has offered me- “ Alun Selected Wine”. This is a new opportunity which can make me do a final spurt in my career. My working experience and my belief is totally in agreement with that of VATS. In an emerging wine market as China, I will lead the brand of “ Alun Selected Wine” , and provide prime wines with the most reasonable price. This opportunity for me is irresistible.
Wine in China: To select wines for Chinese consumers, how will you get to know the taste of the Chinese people?
Alun Griffiths: Before the establishment of “ Alun Selected Wine”. I spent 6 months attending more than 50 wine pairing dinners held by VATS in more than 20 cities in China, during which I came into contact with a lot of Chinese consumers of different ages, from different regions, which has helped me to know more about the preferences and needs of a vast number of consumers. Red wine consumption accounts for 80% of the total number in the Chinese market. On the other hand, I also think that “ Alun Selected Wine” can be a platform for communicating and educating consumers. Therefore, I will select wines of different styles to share with the consumers, to guide them to know wines of different personalities.
Wine in China: What’s your criteria for wine selection?
Alun Griffiths: My criteria consist of high quality, cost-effectiveness and region typicality. And I choose wines from all around the world, the 43 wines that we have launched in the beginning are the result of tasting thousands of wines, carefully selected prime wines. I think the retail price between 100-300RMB is the golden price range. To provide high-quality wines worth its cost is the principle of “ Alun Selected Wine”.
Wine in China: Will “ Alun Selected Wine” open some online wine educating courses?
Alun Griffiths: Now we don’t have formal wine training courses, but we will introduce more wine knowledge and information online, to meet the cognitive need of consumers. There is a very detailed introduction to each wine of “Alun Selected”, including the introduction of the winery, the wine region and the winemaker. And also my tasting notes, which includes the time of the tasting, the occasion and advice for food pairing, especially for Chinese and western food.
Wine in China: Are all wines of “ Alun Selected Wine” introduced to China for the first time?
Alun Griffiths: Except for wines from Grand Cru Classés of Bordeaux, which has already been on the Chinese market, almost all other entry-level, mid-range and individualized wines were introduced to the Chinese market for the first time.
Wine in China: How do you view the development of the wine market in China?
Alun Griffiths: I have noticed the growing middle class in China. Many of them have received western education, and pursue an exquisite lifestyle. Besides, more and more people are traveling, experiencing different cultures. They are coming to know wines gradually, and including wines in their daily life. It indeed takes time to establish confidence and loyalty of the consumers for the importers and distributors. But the Chinese market is growing more and more mature, and full of hope.