February 2012

Vintage 2012: Wine trade staff from China on ten-day Australia tour

February 29, 2012 // 0 Comments

~ By Jim Boyce Wine Australia is hosting 38 people from China’s food and beverage sector on a Down Under tour called Vintage 2012. The visitors, who include representatives from importers, retailers, hotels and the media, are touring the country’s wine regions from February 26 to March 6. Regions on the itinerary include Adelaide Hills, Barossa, Clare, Coonawarra, Great Southern, Hunter Valley, Margaret River — pause for breath — McLaren Vale, Mornington Peninsula, Orange, Rutherglen and the Yarra Valley, according to a press release from the Australian Trade Commission. The press release adds, “The Vintage 2012 visit is part of […]

China wine word: Decanter’s Sarah Kemp reflects on Jia Bei Lan brouhaha

February 28, 2012 // 0 Comments

~ By Jim Boyce Decanter publishing director Sarah Kemp visited Beijing this week and I asked her about the brouhaha over Jia Bei Lan becoming the first Chinese wine to win an ‘international trophy‘ in the magazine’s annual World Wine Awards (see here and here). Jia Bei Lan, made by winery Helan Qing Xue in Ningxia, first won in the Middle East, Far East and Asia region, then took top honors in London against the other regional winners, then became a target for some who suggested that perhaps its victory was due to ulterior motives. I met Kemp, on her […]

Grand Crunnan: Moet Hennessy, VATS to jointly make wine in southern China

February 23, 2012 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce Terril Yue Jones of Reuters is reporting from the Yunnan-Tibet border where a signing ceremony has been held for a joint venture winery by Moet Hennessy and Chinese spirit producer VATS Group. A few key points from Jones’ article followed by a few notes of my own (see the full story here): The JV, “at the foot of the Himalayan mountains in southern China”, will be called Moet Hennessy Shangri-La (Deqin) Winery. Key grapes planted will be Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, Moet Hennessy Chief Executive Christophe Navarre is quoted as saying. The average elevation is […]

Ningxia wine: Jia Bei Lan 2009 launch set for mid-March in Beijing

February 19, 2012 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce Look for much-talked about wine Jia Bei Lan 2009, from operation Helan Qing Xue in the Ningxia region, to be first launched in Beijing in mid-March followed shortly thereafter by launches in Chengdu and Shanghai. The wine will be handled by importer and distributor The Wine Republic. And don’t expect it to come cheap: word is the price tag will be more than rmb800 per bottle. A source at The Wine Republic says Jia Bei Lan will be distributed at some 50 hotels and restaurants in China. As for retail, it will be available in a handful […]

High praise: Jeremy Oliver gives Chinese wine Jia Bei Lan 19 out of 20

February 19, 2012 // 0 Comments

~ By Jim Boyce Australian wine writer Jeremy Oliver, who now has two books published in Chinese, visited Beijing a few months ago and tried Jia Bei Lan, the Ningxia wine that gained fame in international industry circles when it became the first from this country to attain the highest level of recognition at the Decanter World Wine Award. Oliver tried it at Bei restaurant in The Opposite House hotel, at a dinner organized by Jia Bei Lan’s distributor, The Wine Republic. Oliver’s verdict: 19 out of 20. From his blog: I have been completely bowled over, and recently so, […]

Inside look: China’s Ningxia region joining OIV as observer

February 18, 2012 // 0 Comments

~ By Jim Boyce Word is Ningxia has become the first province/region in China to be accepted as an official observer in the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV). The only other OIV observer in China is Yantai in the province of Shandong though that is at a municipal level. Officially called the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, with the minority Hui people making up about a third of the population, it lies about 800 kilometers west of Beijing and is about the size of Ireland. Wine is produced near the base of the Helan Mountains, which run from north […]

Indian wine in China: CWS to import two reds, one white from Grover

February 17, 2012 // 0 Comments

~ By Jim Boyce Word is that CWS will start importing and distributing wines from longstanding Indian operation Grover within the next three months. CWS, which stands for China Wines and Spirits, was founded in 2005 and handles brands that range from Beluga vodka, Trois-Rivieres rum and Wenneker liqueurs to wine labels Joseph Cattin, Trapiche and KWV. A source at CWS says the company will import two reds and one white, including one created with the assistance of Michel Rolland. The winery was founded in 1988 by Kanwal Grover, who died last July at age 85, the operation now in […]

China wine moves: Links Concept says Antinori, Haras de Pirque to join portfolio

February 14, 2012 // 0 Comments

Update: Summergate reports it has added winery Tasca d’Almerita from Sicily to its distribution portfolio and that it will add more Italian wines, particularly from Tuscany and Piedmont. – Italian wine label Antinori will part ways with long-term China distribution partner Summergate and join the portfolio at Links Concept as of April 1, according to management at Links. Word is that Links will handle the account for continental China, Hong Kong and Macau both for Antinori and for Antinori-partnered Chilean brand Haras de Pirque, also from the Summergate portfolio. I sent an email to Summergate re this but have yet […]

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