Treasury Wine Estates Ltd. will soon release a made-in-China version of its famous Penfolds brand, dodging punishing import tariffs that are crippling Australia’s wine exports.
The first bottles will go on sale in China for between A$30 ($21) and A$50 in the second half of 2022, Treasury said Wednesday. Experiments with grapes from Ningxia, in China’s central-north, and Shangri-la in the south-western province of Yunnan, have produced “promising characteristics,” it said.
Beijing in 2020 slapped tariffs of as much as 200%—or more in some cases—on Australian-made wine as trade and diplomatic relations soured. That effectively cut off from Australian winemakers an estimated 52 million regular drinkers.
“We’re confident we can produce a premium Chinese Penfolds that maintains the distinctive Penfolds house style,” Chief Executive Officer Tim Ford in the statement.
Treasury in 2021 launched Penfolds Napa, sourced from California grapes, and a French version is due in 2023.