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Santa Clara: Guglielmo Winery Enters Chinese Market

Submitted By: Lewis Perdue, January 17, 2011

Contact: Laura Ness, Media Relations


Gary Guglielmo, General Manager,

Guglielmo Winery: 408-779-2145



Morgan Hill, CA – January 18, 2010 – Emilio Guglielmo Winery, an 85-year legend in the Santa Clara Valley of California, has successfully penetrated the Chinese wine market. At the end of December, 2010, two forty-foot long shipbound containers holding 2,800 cases of locally sourced and made Guglielmo wines, were released from the winery to make the trek to the southern Chinese market, where they will appear on retail shelves in major shopping centers throughout the country.

According to Gary Guglielmo, General Manager, the arrangement, brokered by Helen Chan, has been several years in the making, and heralds the beginning of what is hoped to be a long and mutually beneficial relationship with a thirsty new market for American wines. It also makes Guglielmo Winery, with an annual 150k case production (100k of which are custom crush goods), the first in the Santa Clara wine region to export to the Chinese market.

“The American market is highly saturated with brands: the shelves are crowded and opportunities for dominance are few. China presents one of the largest potential markets in the world, if not the largest, and as of yet, is uncrowded and eager to engage outside suppliers. Wine is one of the few value added commodities we can offer this growing market that is attractive to them and is profitable for us.”

At 1.4 billion, the population of China represents a huge opportunity, with 600 million young consumers now exploring alcoholic beverages. Wine represents the status drink of the elite. According to International Wine and Spirit Research, China's consumption of American wines has more than quadrupled in the past five years. Volume of consumption in liters, has gone from 1.4 million to 6.3 million in 2009. The market for imported wine in China increased at a compound annual growth rate of 14.5% between 2004 and 2009. According to VINEXPO, the three strongest wine growth markets are China, at 35.91% growth, Russia, at 29.9% and the US at 18.69%.

Every major wine producing country is aggressively targeting China, vying to establish a foothold before domestic producers can ramp up to fill the burgeoning demand. Although California currently accounts for 90% of U.S. wine exports overseas, (according to The Wine Institute), states such as Washington and New York are working hard to boost their market share.

“We feel that moving forward aggressively now will pay off for the future. We would hope that our wines will help create the benchmark of the California lifestyle that this experience-hungry market seeks. We want to establish Guglielmo as a brand this new group of consumers seeks out as they continue their phenomenal commercial expansion,” said Gary.

South China, where the majority of the Guglielmo wines will be sold, has a GDP that is currently outpacing Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore combined. The Guangdong province is the largest wine-importing province in China, and has become a strategic hub for marketing wine and spirits. As its high-growth modern counterparts, Shanghai and Beijing, Guangzhou, the major city of Guangdong, sports a large population of young, urban professionals with a passion for the western lifestyle. The region boasts 3000 wine wholesale enterprises and over 150,000 wine retailers, with 200 four- and five-star hotels, 400 night clubs and bars, as well as hundreds of supermarkets, and 100 international wine clubs and franchised stores.

Symbolically, the doors of the container were sealed by George Guglielmo, the eldest of the three brothers, and the winemaker of record. George succeeded his father, and grandfather before him, in making wine from both estate and small, artisan vineyards primarily in the Santa Clara Valley. “It’s symbolic for us that the oldest winery in the Santa Clara Valley is the first in the region to export to the newest, and potentially the largest, market in the world,” said George.

According to General Manager, Gary Guglielmo, the first shipment contained the winery’s value brand TRE Merlot and Chardonnay, and Emile's Champagne. “We are gearing up to meet the demand, and hope to be sending more containers in the spring, with many more to follow. We look forward to a long and prosperous relationship with our rapidly growing fan-base of Chinese consumers and wine lovers.”


NOTE: Photo attached shows L to R: George Guglielmo (Winemaker/President), Helen Chan (Director of Sales & Marketing, Asia Region), Gary Guglielmo (General Manager) and Gene Guglielmo (Director of Sales).

Additional photos available.