May 2012

Ningxia Wine Challenge in Nanjing: Seven local producers featured, Bordeaux nabs top spot

May 30, 2012 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce Eight wineries from Ningxia in north-central China participated in an afternoon of wine in the city of Nanjing, Jiangsu province, last month to showcase what many see as the country’s most promising wine region. The highlight was the Ningxia Wine Challenge, held on April 24 at the Hilton Wanda Hotel. The challenge included a dozen wines: nine from Ningxia and three from Bordeaux. The latter were included as points of reference because Bordeaux is the best-known foreign wine region among Chinese consumers. The wines all retail for less than rmb450 and were blind-tasted by ten wine professionals […]

Amazing Grace: Drinks Business, IMW name Judy Leissner ‘Asian Wine Personality of the Year’

May 30, 2012 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce Judy Leissner, CEO of Grace Vineyard in Shanxi province, has been named 2012 Asian Wine Personality of the Year by publication The Drinks Business and, according to the publication’s web site, the Institute of Masters of Wine. The announcement was made during Vinexpo 2012 in Hong Kong. This is the first year the drinks business and the IMW have created an award for an Asian wine personality, and it follows their award for Lifetime Achievement, which is announced at Vinexpo Bordeaux, with past recipients including Jean-Michel Cazes, Robert Mondavi and Piero Antinori. Grace Vineyard has been regarded […]

Smart set: Wine maker Li Demei receives Wine Intelligence ’10 for 10′ award

May 30, 2012 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce Wine maker Li Demei has been chosen by London-based market research firm Wine Intelligence as one of ten people in the business “who have personally achieved great things in the past decade, and in doing so have changed the industry for the better.” Li, who works at Beijing University of Agriculture, received the award in Hong Kong yesterday as part of Vinexpo 2012. Also getting awards last night: Etienne Hugel of Hugel & Fils and George Fistonich of Villa Maria Estate. Perhaps best-known internationally for his role at winery Helan Qing Xue and its Jia Bei Lan […]

Vinexpo 2012 Watch: Pendock, dragons, tweets and more from Day One

May 30, 2012 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce Given my experience of observing Wine Future Hong Kong from afar last November, I figured Vinexpo 2012 would offer just as much intrigue and unintentional comedy. Stuff like this: Unfortunately, not so far. To this outside observer, it is more like watching a bunch of kids let loose in a candy shop on the last day of school. Except the candy is very good wine, fun tasting sessions and awesome dinners. Anyway, while we wait for important people to fall asleep on the shoulders of each other, here are five notes from day one… ~ The ‘Neil […]

Decanter Wine Awards 2012: Did China wine more medals because it had more entries?

May 29, 2012 // 0 Comments

A recent Wall Street Journal post titled “Chinese wine makes strides” stated (my highlights): Chinese vineyards are slowly gaining the respect of the wine world. Long written off as plonk, wines from China garnered 19 medals at the latest Decanter World Wine Awards in London, up from just 11 last year. It seems people are having trouble counting, since WSJ states that producers from China received 19 medals, I wrote it was 17 medals, and Decanter — whose number I think we can accept as the correct one — reported  18 medals . Anyway, a bigger point is WSJ says […]

Viewing notes: Vinexpo 2012 Watch, plus Wine Future Hong Kong refresher

May 28, 2012 // 0 Comments

The stunning high-tech design of this blog might suggest that Grape Wall of China is flush with cash. It isn’t. Thus, I won’t be heading to Hong Kong for Vinexpo 2012, which starts tomorrow. But as with Wine Future, held less than seven months ago, I aim (hope) to do daily posts from Beijing that cover the sweetest tweets, the wackiest wines and the most titillating tales of drunken hi-jinks from Hong Kong, as gleaned from the web and email (contact me at beijingboyce (at) if you see anyone totally out of control on Blue Girl beer). And for […]

Décision 2012: RVF to reveal top Chinese wines at Vinexpo in Hong Kong

May 28, 2012 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce The China edition of French magazine La Revue du Vin de France (RVF) held a blind tasting of 97 Chinese wines in early April in Beijing and will announce the results on May 31 at Vinexpo in Hong Kong. The tasting panel was headed by Olivier Poels, deputy chief editor of RVF, who flew in for the event. I was lucky enough to be part of it with: Ma Huiqin Nicolas Carré Guo Yang Li Meiyu Jin Yang Zhan Jicheng Philip Osenton RVF contributor Li Demei, who consults for several wineries in China, sat in on the […]

Monster waves of Spanish fruit: Grandes Pagos de Espana wine tasing in Beijing

May 28, 2012 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce Beijing saw an afternoon of Tempranillo, Albarino and breaded pork puffs as 25 Spanish vintners gathered last Monday in the Peninsula Hotel to present their single-estate wines. Oh, I forgot to mention the tipsy teeming masses. There were tipsy teeming masses. I include myself among them. The event was organized by the Embassy of Spain for the Grandes Pagos de Espana. A few thoughts about it… 1. Wineries were split into four regions, with one region in each corner of the room. The event booklet corresponded to this, thus it listed a “winery number 2” for northeast […]

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