The historical ties of winemaking between Portugal and China

The history of wine between Portugal and China dates back to the 16th century, a period in which China asserted itself as an important player in the global commercial market.

Contact with Portuguese merchants, led by Jorge Álvares, provided opportunities to explore commercial wine exchanges, bringing European wine to Chinese consumers in Guangzhou, also known as Canton. The wine was much appreciated by the local population and quickly became a popular product among the elite.

In the following centuries, the wine trade between the two countries prospered and its fame expanded in Chinas’s coastal regions, and later, in the 19th century, to other regions of Asia, including India, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Portugal consolidated its position as one of the main wine exporters to China, in particular of native varieties such as Touriga Nacional and Alicante Bouschet.

Currently, China is the eighth country with the largest wine market volume, as a result of its strong investment in the production of high quality wines, nationally and internationally. The interest and investment of Chinese companies in the Portuguese market have been driving factors for the modernization of the wine industry in Portugal, using new technologies and specialized labor. This investment has also managed to awaken the interest of Chinese tourists in discovering Portugal’s wine culture.

Quinta da Marmeleira is a living testament to the expansion of historical ties between Portugal and China, in which, once again, the quality of Portuguese wines, combined with the strong investment potential of the Estremadura wine region, demonstrates that there is much room for growth in this industry.