– By Alain Leroux I came to China in 1996 to head the technical side of the joint venture between Bernard Taillan France and Beijing’s Sanyang Group. We have faced many challenges over the past 12 years. Here are three of the biggest in the beginning. The first challenge was human resources. Initially, we built a bottling room and imported wine from France, to be distributed in China by our sales department and with assistance from our local partner. In 1997, we started importing bulk wine and bottling in China. The problem is that the local staff had little experience […]
– By Jim Boyce According to AFP, it appears Longhai International Trading Company is the first Chinese firm to purchase a Bordeaux winery. The deal, announced Tuesday, to buy the 60-hectare chateau for an undisclosed sum, which was signed January 24, looks to be the first ever French wine estate purchase by Chinese buyers. “It is a real Walt Disney kind of chateau, about 500 years old, and the name Latour makes you think of one of the first class growth wines of the Medoc,” said Daniel Carmagnat, director of the Bordeaux property agency A2Z, which sold the property. Reportedly, […]
– By Jim Boyce If the recent China Wine Guide by Time Out magazine were a glass of vino, I would describe it as exhibiting typical aromas, possessing a light body, and leaving a bad taste. I found a copy of the 100-page guide in this month’s issue of Beijing Time Out, available for free in bars, restaurants, and other venues about town. The wine guide has three sections. The first is “wine for beginners“, which explains how to open a wine bottle, common wine myths, and wine terminology, among other topics. The second is “a consumer’s guide“, with information […]
– By Jim Boyce The Beijing Wine Club end of the year anniversary party featured a sampling of six wines and some fellowship. Sadly, it also included a wine awards ceremony that seemed as relevant to the club as a corkscrew is to a screw-cap bottle. The club’s awards were based on the results of a tasting panel in Shanghai that judged wine from eight distributors in China. The panel was organized for a Time Out wine guide since published. The guide was written by the co-founder of the Beijing Wine Club, lone club member on the Shanghai panel, and […]
– By Jim Boyce The Daily Telegraph asks, “Is China the new Chile when it comes to wine?” This an interesting query, particularly since some “Chinese” wines include imported bulk juice, with Chile as a key source. Could it end up that Chile is the new Chile? Anyway, the writer visited Château Changyu with an Austrian winemaker who exports the wine to Europe in a “blend especially for the UK market.” I wonder what makes this blend different from what we get locally? The wines tasted: We taste the wines produced from the château’s own vineyards – two reds and […]
By Campbell Thompson Let’s say you dine in a five-star hotel in China, decide to order a bottle of wine, and spot one on the menu for RMB 400. How did the wine get listed at that price? There are three key factors at work. First, the combined import duty, value-added tax and consumption tax for imported wine works out at about 48 percent of landed cost. In other words, in order to get its RMB 100 wine into the country, the importer ends up plunking down RMB 148. That’s fairly high by world standards, though some other Asian markets, […]
– By Jim Boyce A recent post on China Wine Information Website states that authorities in Yunnan have destroyed 12,000 bottles of imported red wine: They [the bottles] were considered to be unqualified because of their unqualified packing (leaking, moldy corks) which didn’t accord with the related standard of wine. Unfortunately, there is no information about which brand is involved.
Yunnan Red Wine Company vineyard (J. Boyce) – By Jim Boyce Are grape wines from southern China’s Yunnan province – considered by some the location of Shangri-La – made from the survivors of vines devastated in France by phylloxera from the mid-1860s to the mid-1890s? An intriguing question, not only because of its Indiana Jones-type feel (hence the title) and its historical and East-West angles, but also because Yunnan wines – made from grapes known as French Wild, Crystal and Rose Honey – may be among China’s best bets for getting on the world wine map. The history of vines […]