TWE launches first China-sourced wine

Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) has launched its first China-sourced wine in the 2023 Penfolds Collection: the Chinese Winemaking Trial (CWT) 521.

It follows the launch of ‘One by Penfolds’ in China in 2022, and the more recent global launch featuring Penfolds wine from China, Australia, the US and France.

CWT 521 is a blend of cabernet sauvignon and marselan sourced from Shangri-la in the south-western Yunnan province and Ningxia, in the country’s central-north. It will be available in limited quantities globally from 3 August 2023, retailing for $150AU per bottle.

The bottle design for CWT by Denomination entwines Penfolds brand codes with a traditional knot graphic symbolising the bond between the growers and the winemakers.

TWE Chief Executive Officer Tim Ford said the company’s ongoing commitment to China was a key component of its long-term strategy focused on premium and luxury wine, as well as its multi-regional sourcing model.

“Penfolds continues to appeal to consumers around the world as a hallmark of quality, luxury, and innovation,” he said.

“We look forward to continuing to collaborate with colleagues and partners in China to bring China-sourced Penfolds wine to the world alongside the range from France, the US and Australia. We see a bright future for China as a premium and luxury winemaking region.”

The wine was unveiled by Penfolds Chief Winemaker Peter Gago at a press conference in Shangri-La in China’s Yunnan province, attended by local Diqing Government officials and representatives of the China Alcoholic Drinks Association (CADA).

TWE established a strategic co-operation agreement with the country’s peak alcohol body in 2022, which sees the two organisations working together to advance China’s wine industry on the global stage through technical knowledge and expertise exchange, as well as wine education and culture programs.

China Alcoholic Drinks Association Executive Director Wang Qi said: “We look forward to ongoing collaboration with Treasury Wine Estates to further develop China’s winemaking industry and support regional economic development.”

The Penfolds Collection 2023 will be released globally on August 3 and includes wines from four continents, with releases from Australia, America, France and China.

The CWT 521 launch follows last week’s announcement of the fashion entrepreneur NIGO being appointed as Penfolds first creative director, and the global launch of the One by Penfolds range in Hong Kong – including the Ningxia Red Blend previously only available in China.

NIGO is the founder of street style retailer Human Made, Artistic Director of Japanese/French fashion brand KENZO, and a music producer.

As part of the global One by Penfolds release, a limited-edition range of luxury t-shirts and jackets designed by NIGO is available online, reflecting the label motifs of a crocodile, rooster, panda, and bear – echoing the four winemaking regions where One by Penfolds wines are sourced: Australia, France, China, and the US.

Penfolds Managing Director Tom King said: “Penfolds continued growth cements its reputation as a global luxury icon; transcending the wine category and connecting with the ‘new luxurian’ consumer that’s interested in the world’s finest wines while also participating in new, creative experiences.”

Penfolds relationship with China dates back over a century, with the first bottles of Penfolds exported from South Australia to Shanghai in 1893. Penfolds Chief Winemaker Peter Gago has been visiting and working in China for over three decades, and the brand has continued its re-corking clinics across a range of locations in China.

Penfolds also announced the establishment of its community and sustainability initiative, ‘Penfolds Evermore’. It will provide $1AU million in support for community and sustainability programs in Australia, the US, France and China over the next five years through a new grant program. More information on Penfolds Evermore will be available in early 2024.

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