SYDNEY, March 8 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese winery is in the midst of processing its first ever harvest in Australia's state of Victoria with around 25,000 tons of grapes soon to be crushed, bottled and sent back to China.
According to Weilong Grape Wine Company's general manager of Australian operations, Bruno Zappia, the company has "faith in the region," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Friday.
"We planned to have the wine bottled by the end of the year, and on sale for Chinese New Year in January 2020."
With Australian wine exports to China continuing to spike, last financial year saw a dramatic 51 percent jump in sales to northeast Asia.
In total, Wine Australia estimates these exports to be worth around 1.2 billion Australian dollars (840,000 million U.S. dollars).
"They have become more affluent and can now afford high-priced goods and wine, good quality, clean wine, is among that," Zappia said.
"Australia is recognized as a place of green and clean. The Chinese people look at Australia as being safe and clean and it's very attractive to a Chinese consumer."
"I think people should encourage any investment in the region. The interest isn't just in wine, but table grapes, citrus, almonds and cattle.
"We should be welcoming the Chinese and be exploring business opportunities because it's only going to benefit us," he added.
Echoing the sentiments of his counterpart, Mike Stone, the executive officer of regional industry body, Murray Valley Winegrowers said "it's extremely significant for Australia" and "a fantastic opportunity in terms of marketing wine from our region."
"There hasn't been a winery development of this magnitude for many years."
"It speaks volumes for their confidence in our ability to produce the quality fruit for the wine they want to deliver to their customers back home."
"It's also highlights our reputation and the fact that we can deliver what they want, it's good for the future that a business of this size has located in our region," Stone added.