By Jim Boyce
China is a major wine producer and a growing wine consumer, but the average wine sold under domestic labels is disappointing. As noted here, this is due to everything from the pursuit of high-yield harvests to the use of unripe grapes to the blending of local and bulk imported wine to an emphasis on marketing rather than product quality. And decent local wines tend to offer poor value given the range of quality imported wines available at similar or lower prices.
Given this, a tasting at Sequoia Cafe in Beijing this Friday offers a good opportunity: it will feature five Chinese wines, all made from locally grown grapes, for only RMB100 (~USD15) — good value considering each bottle costs from ~RMB200 (~USD30) to ~RMB350 (~USD55).
The lineup includes three wines from Grace Vineyard, in the north-central province of Shanxi, by Australian wine maker Ken Murchison. (Note: Grace CEO Judy Leissner is a contributor to this blog.)
– Grace Vineyard Tasya’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
– Grace Vineyard Tasya’s Reserve Chardonnay
– Grace Vineyard Symphony Series Muscat, a wine made jointly by Grace and Torres
There will also be two wines from newcomer Silver Heights, in the northwestern region of Ningxia, by wine maker Emma Gao. Both include a grape commonly found in China, Cabernet Gernischt.
– Silver Heights Family Reserve (60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Cabernet Gernischt, 10% Cabernet Franc)
– Silver Heights The Summit (60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Gernischt, 20% Cabernet Franc)
The tasting is at 6:30 PM. RSVP with “Cabernet” Frank Siegel at 13701-178-073. All of the wines are distributed by Torres China.