Alice Liang by the drink business.com recently report that well-known wineries, including Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) and Concha y Toro, are moving into Chinese e-commerce by setting up official e-shops on Tmall and JD.com, the major online shopping platforms in China.

On 8 June, DBR Lafite unveiled the online flagship shop for its Chilean wine Los Vascos on Tmall and JD.com, with the help of ASC Fine Wines, the company’s distributor in China. This is the first time the company has launched an official e-commerce channel in the country.

The news shakes up the industry as it shows the winery’s confidence in the development of e-commerce platforms in China, as well as the ambition of providing a more complete brand experience to local consumers.

Acquired by DBR Lafite in 1988, Los Vascos is the company’s outpost in Chile. The online flagship shop offers a range of popular labels, including its flagship Le Dix de Los Vascos. Some of the special items include a Le Dix collection of six-vintage verticals, including the first vintage 1996 and exclusive bottles, namely Los Vascos The Willow Cabernet Sauvignon and Los Vascos Brisandes Estates Reserve.

Los Vascos is the first brand under DBR Lafite to expand into Chinese e-commerce. Moving forward, the company will announce further online strategic planning for other brands.

Chilean wine giant Concha y Toro also opened its official online flagship shop on Tmall and JD.com last week. Aimed at the mid- to high-end market, its signature labels, including Don Melchor, Casillero del Diablo, Marques Casa Concha and Trivento, are all available on the platform.

Since the official launch of the winery in China in 2012, Concha y Toro has been actively participating in the fast-paced e-commerce expansion in China. It was the first international wine brand to develop a strategic partnership with JD.com in 2014. In the following years, the company started to introduce more brands to the platform. In 2019, it began a partnership with Alibaba.

Rodrigo Jackson, Central Asia managing director at Concha y Toro, said: “The vitality and opportunities in the Chinese market have kept us confident in this market. The fast-growing e-commerce platform continues to bring unexpected opportunities to the brand.

“With the respective advantages in resources of JD.com and Tmall, our products are well-perceived by consumers step by step. The launch of our online flagship stores, combining with our previous experience in e-commerce channels, is crucial for us to further develop the market and enhance consumer awareness of the brand.”

Currently, Pinshanghui is responsible for the brand’s online sales, meanwhile Summergate remains as its major distributor for traditional channels.

Undoubtedly one of the affects of Covid-19 is the acceleration of e-commerce development. In China, the progressive market was one step ahead, as on-premise and brick-and-mortar retail was hugely affected by the lockdown situation.

In the meanwhile, the post-1980s and 1990s generation are more well-engaged digitally in everyday life. As the beverage industry recovers from the pandemic, e-commerce has played a pivotal role since shopping spree festivals, such as Women’s Day and May Day, can successfully boost sales. New online sales format like KOC marketing (live-streaming sales) has further stimulated business exponentially.