Hong Kong has returned to rank as the most valuable market for wines from Bordeaux, France’s biggest wine region, while exports to mainland China suffered a double-digit drop.

Hong Kong leads Bordeaux wine exports with 16% market share, ahead of mainland China (15%) and the US (13%) with 10 million bottles of exported Bordeaux wines worth for €327 million in 2018, according to figures released by Bordeaux Wine Council.

The total export value represent a 3% rise compared with 2017, although during the period, export volume saw a slide of 4% to 77,000 hectolitres.

In volume terms, Hong Kong ranked behind mainland China, the US, Belgium, the UK, Germany and Japan.

This means the city’s per capita consumption on Bordeaux wine is around €42 a bottle, much higher than neighbouring mainland China.

Among all French AOP wines, Bordeaux took the lion’s share, accounting for 79% of all French AOP wines exported to the Asian wine hub in terms of value.

When it comes to preferred wine style, red wines dominate taking up 97% of the market.

A breakdown of appellations revealed that Groupe Bordeaux, combining affordable Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur AOC, is in the lead with 47%, followed by the wines from Médoc and Graves at 35%. Producers from Saint-Emilion-Pomerol-Fronsac made up the market with 8% and Grands Cote at 6%.

“Still, Hong Kong’s general enthusiasm for Bordeaux remains undiminished and is on track to continue, “said Allan Sichel, CIVB president of Bordeaux Wine Council. “Despite small ups and downs, sales have settled at a safely stable overall level for the past five years – at more than double the market value of a decade ago when red wine and in particular French wine, became fashionable.”

In 2018, the two cities also signed a first Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen cooperation between the two cities on wine and food tourism.

Across the border, China on the other hand saw a drop of more than 30% of Bordeaux wine exports in volume and another 21.6% in value, hampered by the country’s slowing economy and uncertainties of trade war.

With the recent 2018 En Primeur campaign, interest from the trade in China is diminished as well, as previously reported by vino-joy.com.

Bordeaux exports to China last year slumped to €311 million, according to figures released by Business France for 435,991 hectolitres.

Overall Asia remains an important export market for Bordeaux. Its overall importance is underscored by the fact that the market accounts for 43 of all Bordeaux exports in value, compared to EU’s 29% and North America’s 16%.