Hong Kong movie star Carina Lau launched her own online wine and champagne brand at the world's biggest wine and spirits fair Vinexpo in southern France recently.
Going on sale in China on the Alibaba website under the name of the Chinese-born actress are six top-end Bordeaux and four other wines from the region as well as two Moutard champagnes and a sparkling wine.
"It's an important day for me and my company Carina international e-commerce limited," said the actress who married movie star Tony Leung in 2008. "My first products are red wine and champagne but it will be introducing many more other products under my brand."
A total 280,000 bottles of the top-end Bordeaux wines will be offered in a pre-sale launch with the four vintages from the Haut-Medoc, Margaux and Saint Emilion available later following the official launch of sales in Shanghai.
Carina Lau, 49, has shot a score of films, several of them with award-winning director Wong Kar Wai who has also starred Tony Leung.
She already has cosmetics, fashion and jewellery brands and owns 17 nightclubs.
While consumption has slowed in the last few years after a period of frenetic growth, China remains the largest red wine market in the world and the fifth largest wine market for still and sparkling wines, according to the latest figures from a Vinexpo study published in 2014.
Former basketball star Yao Ming was, perhaps, among the most high-profile Chinese celebrities to venture into wine, snapping up vineyards from California's Napa Valley.
His flagship Yao Ming Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is aged for 18 months in French oak barrels.
Likewise, in 2011 Chinese actress Zhao Wei bought Chateau Monlot Saint Emilion Grand Cru, a vineyard of 8.5ha in the foothills of Saint Emilion.
Since about 2008, wealthy Chinese investors have snapped up more than 20 chateaux in the Bordeaux region. – AFP Relaxnews
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