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Chinese Investors Eyeing Big Lodi Wine Buy

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LODI (CBS13) — Lodi wine is on the brink of becoming world-famous as it’s getting a hard look from Chinese investors.

The move could mean big bucks and a big boon for Lodi’s wine brand.

California wine grapes have been going global for years, but judging by this group, the Chinese investment in Lodi may be about to pop.

For Lodi winemakers, these are the kinds of customers they’ll want to keep.

How much wine are they here to buy?

“That’s a good question.”

The answer is better.

“Maybe 20,000 bottles?”

The group is from Shenyang, China, population 4 million—roughly the same size as L.A.

They’re in Lodi, a place they’re learning to love.

“Because Lodi wine has a very similar quality as Napa Valley, or Sonoma, while talking about the price is much lower.”

China is only now discovering U.S. wines for import. France is No.1 for Chinese imports, followed by Australia, while the U.S. is a distant No. 5.

According to the Los Angeles Times, U.S. wineries exported $62 million of wine to China in 2011, a 42 percent increase from the year before.

U.S. international bankers like Ken Petrilla with Wells Fargo International Group are hoping this wine trade takes off.

“I think it’s important, because Lodi’s probably a little under the radar screen in terms of other wine regions in California. But on the other hand, a lot of wine and grapes are produced here.”

Lodi still has some competition with this particular delegation. The group flew into Portland before hitting Napa. They’re here today, then they go to Paso Robles before flying back to China.

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