Alberto Orengia

Alberto was born in a family with a passion for wines. His father hailed from Piemonte, the land of Barolo and Barbaresco, and his mother from Veneto, home of fine Amarone and Valpolicella.

He was educated in classical studies and spent most of his youth between philosophy books and varsity rugby. From a young age, Alberto had the chance to travel around Italy and be exposed to its varied wine regions.

A keen curiosity towards China and the Far East led him to earn a degree in Oriental Studies from Venice University, and subsequently a MSc in International Business from a leading business school in Nancy.

Alberto began his F&B career in London, and later moved to Shanghai where he studied and worked for seven years with a chance to gain hands-on experience in the Chinese market. His  true passion ultimately led him to join the wine industry as a full-time professional.

He spent nine years building Asian markets for a leading producer in Valpolicella and in 2020 he joined one of the oldest and most respected winemaking families in Toscana, the Frescobaldi, as head of APAC markets.

Alberto speaks Italian, English and Mandarin and is Certified WSET L4 Diploma in Wines and Spirits.

China: Rise or Demise?

Often described as the world’s fastest growing wine market, China is currently undergoing radical changes in its political and social environment that are pointing to a different course for its future.

The aim of our discussion is to raise serious questions about real opportunities and challenges for wine producers in the Chinese market.

We will cover the actual state of the wine market in China, presenting evidence from recent import data, latest emerging trends gathered through industry focus groups, and try to paint a picture of the underlying forces that impact the alcoholic drinks market, which are currently shifting consumption patterns.

We will take a look at China’s distribution channels and wine business models, in order to explain why there is often a mismatch between expectations of producers and actual capabilities of execution by the main players in the market.

Our research will show that China is a market with unique traits still little understood, very different from its Asian neighbours, which requires specific strategies and tactics to manage a successful distribution business, and specific tools to communicate and engage with a Chinese audience.

Finally, we will attempt to build a matrix that sums up what are key characteristics of wine brands that this market is looking for, in order to stimulate the audience of producers to evaluate their fit to market.