Marlborough Wines Estates Group is expected to list on the NZX's alternative market, NXT, on Thursday.

The company owns vineyards in the Awatere Valley in Marlborough and most of its production is sold offshore, particularly to China where it has established a distribution network.

Marlborough Wines executive chairman James Jia said China is now thought to be among the top five wine-consuming countries in the world, with wine imports increasing over 40 per cent to $420 million in the last year alone.

Wine is seen as a status symbol among the emerging middle class in China and premium wine is becoming an affordable everyday luxury for these consumers, the company said in a statement.


"However, the number of people who understand and enjoy white wine is still small relative to a likely market of some 100 million alcohol consumers. This presents a significant opportunity to develop and exploit the white wine market, which is forecast to grow rapidly," Jia said.

NXT is a market platform for small and mid-sized emerging companies looking to grow.