May 4th – “Until ‘Carpe Vinum’ began streaming,” notes Ganz, “every show created for the Chinese market was shot using English as the primary language. We thought to ourselves: Why not give Chinese wine lovers a show that spoke to them directly?”
In March 2021, Ethica Wines and its partners launched, “Carpe Vinum,” the first-ever Italian wine education series to be filmed in Chinese. Presented by Chinese Master of Wine Fongyee Walker, the show marks a break from convention as it strives to make its content approachable and user friendly for a Chinese-language audience. Throughout each of the episodes, the show’s host strives instead to make the experience fun, making it a new and inviting experience for those who love wine but still feel intimidated by the wine world’s perceived snobbery. Over the course of 10 episodes, Walker guides viewers through visits to top Italian wine destinations like Tuscany, Piedmont, and Sicily.
The production comes on the heels of Ethica Wines’ first foray into wine tourism television, “Kiss Kiss,” a smash hit in China that combined wine tourism and reality television. Over the course of its first season, “Kiss Kiss” follows a young Chinese actress and influencer as she visits top Italian wineries and meets potential suitors at each estate. The show’s popularity led the producers to create what they believe is yet another innovative production in terms of its originality and impact. Where the emphasis in “Kiss Kiss” has been a blend of lifestyle, adventure, and wine tourism, “Carpe Vinum” is intended to combine wine education and wine tourism in a novel and entertaining way.
The entire series will be hosted on Youku, China’s biggest streaming platform with more than 500 million active users each month. And the wines featured in the series are available to Chinese wine lovers on Taobao, the biggest Chinese online marketplace. While viewing the shows, they can scan a QR code on the screen that will take them directly to the wine’s product page, including information about the wine and tasting notes.
“One of the main goals of the new show, says Ethica Wines CEO Francesco Ganz, “was to create consumer-friendly content for the Chinese market. In the past, winemakers have relied on trade focused, technical presentations and tastings to promote their products. But this approach has often failed to address the interests of the Chinese audience. In a time when people cannot travel to their favorite wineries and wine regions, the ‘wine lover-focused’ production creates a wonderful balance between education and pure entertainment. And it gives the viewer the opportunity to experience the wineries as if they themselves were there in person.”
Ever since launching his U.S.-based company in 1994, Ethica Wines CEO Francesco Ganz has been quietly but steadily building a blockbuster portfolio of top Italian wines. In 2020, he added high-profile estates like Barolo great Borgogno and natural wine icon Movia. This came on the heels of his 2019 partnerships with other star producers like Bellavista (including the group’s Sella & Mosca estate), Ca’ dei Frati, Fattoria Le Pupille, and Cordero Montezemolo. More recently, Ethica finalized an agreement with superstar Soave grower Roberto Anselmi to represent his critically acclaimed wines in the U.S.