Distillers join US foray into China

27 August, 2008
Page 11 
California and Washington state wineries have been chasing the elusive China market for several years and now US spirits producers have joined the hunt.

The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States recently hosted seminars and tastings for the trade in Beijing and Shanghai.

"The events were very successful with positive feedback," said Frank Coleman, vice president of public affairs for DISCUS.

The numbers also look positive. In 2005, US spirits exports to China totaled US$3.1 million. In 2006, they more than doubled to US$6.7 million . "It's a huge opportunity for us," Coleman said.

He added that the flavour profile of American whiskey was more compatible to Chinese taste than Scotch, which already has a major presence in China.

"The Manhattan cocktail, for example, created a lot of excitement," he said.

Jack Daniel's master distiller Jimmy Bedford led a tasting of US spirits, from raw material to finished product.

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Christian Davis

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