The Chinese wine market is one of the fastest growing in the world, and Italy is one of the fastest growing wine-producing countries in the world. So, it should come as no surprise that Italian wine has become a hot commodity in China. China’s growing wine-drinking population is behind the boom in demand for Italian wine and for Italian wine tourism.
While the Chinese market has long been considered too difficult for foreign vintners to penetrate, one Italian entrepreneur has proven that theory wrong. Francesco Ganz, CEO of Ethica Wines, has launched “Carpe Vinum,” the first-ever Italian wine tourism TV series in Chinese, created especially for the Chinese market. “There’s a lot of demand for Italian wines in China, but you have to know about the producers, their history, and the territory to fully appreciate the wines,” Ganz said. “The Chinese don’t know much about Italy’s winemaking traditions, so we decided to do a TV show to fill in the gaps.”
4. May – Before Carpe Vinum aired, Ganz says all shows made for the Chinese market were filmed with English as the main language. We thought so: Why not offer Chinese wine lovers a show that speaks directly to them?
In March 2021, Ethica Wines and its partners launched Carpe Vinum, the first educational series in the history of Italian wine filmed in Chinese. Presented by Chinese wine master Fongi Walker, the show deviates from tradition by trying to make the content accessible and friendly to a Chinese-speaking audience. In each episode, the show’s host strives to make the experience entertaining and new and interesting for those who love wine but feel intimidated by the apparent snobbery of the wine world. Over the course of ten episodes, Walker takes viewers to Italy’s top wine destinations, including Tuscany, Piedmont and Sicily.
This production follows Ethica Wines’ first foray into the televised wine tourism market, the film Kiss Kiss, which was a huge success in China and combined wine tourism and reality TV. In the first season, Kiss Kiss follows a young Chinese actress and influencer as she visits Italy’s best wineries and meets potential suitors at each one. The popularity of the show prompted the producers to create another production that was innovative in terms of originality and impact. While Kiss Kiss focused on combining lifestyle, adventure and wine tourism, Carpe Vinum wants to combine wine education and wine tourism in a new and exciting way.
The entire series will be available on Youku, China’s largest streaming platform with over 500 million monthly active users. And the wines featured in the series are available to Chinese wine lovers on Taobao, China’s largest online marketplace. While watching the show, they can scan an on-screen QR code that takes them directly to the wine’s product page, including information about the wine and tasting notes.
According to Francesco Ganz, CEO of Ethica Wines, one of the main goals of the new program was to create content that was user-friendly for the Chinese market. In the past, winemakers relied on trade shows, technical presentations and tastings to promote their products. But this approach often failed to take into account the interests of the Chinese public. At a time when people can’t visit their favorite vineyards and wine regions, a wine-inspired production is the perfect balance of education and pure entertainment. And it allows the viewer to discover the vineyards as if he had been there himself.
Since founding his company in the United States in 1994, Francesco Ganz, CEO of Ethica Wines, has quietly but steadily built a portfolio of the finest Italian wines. In 2020, he added famous wineries like the great Barolo Borgogno and the iconic natural wine Movia. This comes after joining forces with other star producers in 2019, including Bellavista (including the group’s own winery Sella & Mosca), Ca’ dei Frati, Fattoria Le Pupille and Cordero Montezemolo. Recently, Ethica partnered with Soave superstar winemaker Roberto Anselmi to represent his acclaimed wines in the United States.