The East is white| Rethinking the ‘Chinese love red wine’ meme

November 10, 2015 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce It’s funny when industry observers say Chinese consumers prefer red wines to white wines, claiming red is associated with luck and white is associated with death. Really? Because China’s national spirit, and best-selling booze, is baijiu — ‘white spirit‘. Because, if red wine is so lucky, why did it take Chinese 4,980 years of their 5,000-year history to start buying it. Because, well let’s just stop there… Red wines do dominate the market. They rose to prominence du to their links with status (Grand Cru!) and health (French Paradox!). Producers, importers and distributors now maintain that momentum despite evidence […]

Grape Press | Ningxia Regional Analysis in Wine Business International

November 9, 2015 // 0 Comments

As far as wine regions go, Ningxia is pretty darn hot. The past five years have seen a steady stream of winemakers, viticulturalists, writers, investors, equipment sellers, conference organizers, tourism experts — well, you get the idea — pour into Yinchuan, the capital of this region in north-central China. And for good reason. The government is devoting loads of resources to the industry, the region’s wineries are picking up medals and good reviews at home and abroad, and everyone wants a piece of what could be the best place to make wine in the world’s most enticing consumer market. Anyway, here’s […]

Wine word | Nicolas Billot-Grima on Chinese Medoc marathoners, winery feng shui & more

November 3, 2015 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce Nicolas Billot-Grima has made wine in China for over a quarter-century: he started at Huadong in Shandong province in the late 1980s, helped open Sino-French Demonstration Vineyard in Hebei Province in the 1990s, and now consults on several winery operations and promotes the Jurade de Saint-Emilion in China. I recently met him for brunch in Beijing and have included below a few excerpts from our talk. On claims consumers only like red wines: That’s total bullshit. Chinese consumers are open-minded. If you explain your product well, they’ll try it. White wine is good for beginners because its less tannic, it’s fruitier, […]

Wine Word | Lenz Moser says clock ‘reset’ on China wine sales to Europe

November 3, 2015 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce [I recently had dinner with Lenz Moser and asked him about the current situation at Moser-Changyu XV in Ningxia.] Winemaker Lenz Moser, who is involved with top-three China producer Changyu in a project in the Ningxia region, says the clock is being “reset” on the venture’s European sales plans. Three years ago, the sprawling Changyu Moser XV opened with much fanfare. It included palatial grounds, vineyards and a museum, cellar, tasting room and sales room. Hopes were high about penetrating the European market. (See here for my interview with Moser during the opening.) While Changyu-Moser did make something of […]

Beijing wine bars | Pop-Up to launch Sunday with fundraiser featuring New Zealand wine

November 3, 2015 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce After months of fine-tuning the design and hosting events, including art show gatherings, a young diplomats mixer, a wedding reception and a World Baijiu Day tasting, Pop-Up will officially open its in-house bar on November 8 with a fundraiser that features New Zealand wine, baijiu and sheep. “We want people to have a retreat from the madness of Sanlitun,” says Glenn Schuitman, who is partners in Pop-Up with Vito Zhang. Sunday’s party starts at 4 PM and supports Maovember*, a mustache-favoring charity that will hold events all month to fund cataract surgeries, via “flying eye hospital” charity Orbis, for men […]

Laid-back in Lodi | A relaxed whirlwind trip to Napa and Sonoma’s little-known neighbor

October 29, 2015 // 0 Comments

I joined California Wine Institute and nine Chinese journalists on a whirlwind tour of Napa, Sonoma, Lodi and Livermore last week. Here’s a look at our short stop in Lodi. Our collective energy is low as we pull up to Wine and Roses Country Inn in Lodi, a large but relatively little-known region in the shadow of famed Napa and Sonoma country. The California Wine Institute team has been riding us hard for five days, from the moment we landed in San Francisco and headed straight for the pier through to the previous day when we spent more than 12 hours stomping the vineyard trail […]

HalloWine | Hilton Food & Wine Experience Set for October 31

October 28, 2015 // 0 Comments

I’ve long been a fan of the annual Hilton Food & Wine Experience. I’ve gone to this fair every year for a decade, held contests on my blogs to give away hundreds of tickets and overnight stays–including in the presidential suite–to promote it, helped arrange this record-setting event, and powwowed with hotel management on strategy as recently as last summer. This year? The Hilton contacted me because they heard from someone in the media that I was into wine and might be interested in their event. Based on this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this and this, I’d say that’s a good bet. Anyway, institutional memory […]

Meet the Candidates | Chris Sargeant of Australia

October 7, 2015 // 0 Comments

Chris Sargeant of Australia is one of 48 candidates from 18 nations participating in the Ningxia Winemakers Challenge, a two-year program that officially started on September 20 and pairs each winemaker with a local winery. I asked about his experience so far. You’ve been in Ningxia for about two weeks now. Have you tried the mutton? [Note: To those unfamiliar with the region, it is nearly impossible to go a few days let alone a few weeks without having mutton.] Half the time, I’m not all that sure what I’m eating! But, yes I have had the mutton and it was succulent and […]

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