November 2011

China wine labels: Does ‘E-mail’ wine deserve save or delete?

November 29, 2011 // 0 Comments

~ Forget wine scores out of 20 or 100. Here’s a bottle of “E-mail” Dry Red Wine from Great Wall that you could simply designate as “save” or “delete“. Or stick in the spam box. Then again, if you rate it high, it only seems fair to forward it as a recommendation. I spotted this bottle at Great Wall in Hebei Province and imagine it dates a few years. Who knows? Maybe there is a Weibo White, a Baidu Bordeaux Blend or an iRhone in the works. And if you want to see a much racier label from China, check […]

Australia Wine Annual: Jeremy Oliver releases Chinese-language edition, to host Beijing events

November 29, 2011 // 0 Comments

Writer Jeremy Oliver is doing a series of events to launch the Chinese-language version of his 2012 Australian Wine Annual. In Beijing, Oliver will be at Pudao Wines on December 3 from 3:30 3 Pm to 6 5 PM for a free tasting of eight Australian wines from d’Arenberg, Yalumba, Grosset, Hewitson, Moss Wood, Rockford, De Bortoli and Henschke. On December 4, Room Beijing will host a dinner, with chef Brian McKenna putting together the menu and Oliver introducing wines from Yarrabank, Mount Langi, Tyrell, Yering Station, Henschke, Vasse Felix and Noble One. The five-course meal is rmb888 per person. […]

Bidder up: Notes from a Bordeaux-heavy wine auction in Beijing

November 28, 2011 // 0 Comments

~ By Jim Boyce I went to a wine auction in Beijing on Saturday because: a) fellow Grape Wall guy Nicolas Carre invited me, b) the venue, Zun Club near Workers Stadium, is across the street from my apartment, and c) I have not attended such a sale before. This one was organized by magazine Wine World, or at least the company that publishes it, and lasted about three hours. There were about 100 to 120 attendess, although only a small minority made any bids, which were projected on a screen in RMB, Euros and Pounds — the USD function […]

Another French connection? Re a Cheval Blanc vineyard in China

November 26, 2011 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce A very famous Bordeaux Château is about to announce a major investment in China.’ This was Li De Mei’s tantalising sign-off at the end of perhaps the most relevant of many presentations given at a recent get-together of international wine luminaries in Hong Kong, WineFuture. Could this be connected to the rumour that Pierre Lurton, director of LVMH’s Châteaux Cheval Blanc and d’Yquem, has been overseeing vine plantings near the Tibetan border? I certainly spotted Cheval’s public relations person at the conference. – Jancis Robinson, “Wine Advances in China” (November 19) Several people have asked me about […]

China winery photo essay: Great Wall in Hebei Province

November 24, 2011 // 1 Comment

By Jim Boyce Great Wall is part of COFCO, a Fortune Global 500 company, and produces over 100 million bottles of wine per year. COFCO also buys wineries overseas, with relatively recent purchases in Chile and France, sponsors major events, including the Beijing Olympics and Shanghai World Expo, and is involved in everything from wine clubs to importing wine to local brands Chateau SunGod and Chateau Junding. I  joined wine maker and professor Li Demei on a trip to the Great Wall operation in Hebei Province, just outside Beijing, a few years ago. Below are eight photos from the journey […]

North by Northwest China Wine Challenge: The Winners

November 14, 2011 // 2 Comments

~ Fourteen judges gathered in the Hilton Beijing last Saturday to try two dozen Chinese wines from the north and northwestern regions of the nation. To the best of my knowledge, the wines were made solely with grapes grown in China. The operations included Grace Vineyard and Chateau Rongzi from Shanxi, Jade Valley from Shaanxi, Helan Qing Xue, Silver Heights and Domaine Helan Mountain from Ningxia, Hansen from Inner Mongolia, Sunshine Valley from Gansu, and 1421 from Xinjiang. The challenge had four categories. The first three categories were Chardonnay under RMB150, Cabernet under RMB150, and Bordeaux varieties from RMB150 to about […]

North by Northwest Challenge: The Judges

November 13, 2011 // 0 Comments

Fourteen judges tasted 24 wines during the North by Northwest China Wine Challenge held yesterday morning at the Hilton Beijing. The wines hailed from Xinjiang, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Gansu, Ningxia and Inner Mongolia, and, at least for me, demonstrated the increasing dynamism of the domestic wine scene. The process of adding scores, deciphering handwriting and triple-checking everything is under way with the aim of releasing the results tomorrow. This event was more public than Grape Wall Challenge held Tuesday at Modo, with some journalists on hand as observers and people occasionally popping into the room to watch the action — if […]

Grape Wall Challenge III: Best white wines under RMB100

November 11, 2011 // 0 Comments

I already covered the top five red wines from the third annual Grape Wall Challenge, held on Tuesday in Modo restaurant in Beijing. Now it is time for the white wines. As noted before, the Grape Wall Challenge features consumers as judges and focuses on bottles that retail for under rmb100. Judges were asked to try each wine and put it in one of four categories: “love it”, “like it”, “don’t like it” or “hate it”. We awarded four points for “love it”, three points for “like it”, and so on. Judges had space to leave comments and list their […]

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