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Vineyards a new appeal to rich Chinese: report

2014-12-31 09:29 Xinhua Web Editor: Qian Ruisha

China's super rich have found a tempting new way of spending their vast wealth: vineyard ownership, according to a property consultancy survey.

Knight Frank said in a report Tuesday that 45 percent of Chinese "ultra high net worth individuals" are interested in vineyard ownership, the most of any country surveyed.

Ultra high net worth individuals are those with 30 million US dollars or more in net assets.

The survey, which analyzed views of wealth advisors around the world, found that Chinese investors were the most significant foreign buyers in the Barossa Valley, Australia; Bordeaux, France; and the Napa Valley, USA.

According to the Organization of Vine and Wine, China's wine consumption increased by 57 percent between 2000 and 2013.

"The growth in Chinese thirst for wine is not only being echoed by a significant increase of imports into the country, but also by a rise in the interest in vineyard ownership overseas," said Nicholas Holt, Head of Research for Asia Pacific at Knight Frank.

Another finding is that "Asian" buyers, synonymous with "Chinese" only two or three years ago, now refers to a much broader mix of nationalities from Vietnamese to South Koreans to the ubiquitous Hong Kong wine enthusiasts. "The purchase of western wine estates for Chinese and other Asian buyers is a relatively new trend," said Bill Thomson, Chairman of Knight Frank's Italian network.

The difficulty for buyers is pinpointing the top locations.

"Wine, unlike almost any other agricultural product is very location sensitive, and therefore within each area there are hundreds of micro areas that are better or worse. Real local knowledge and research is the only answer," Thomson said.

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