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By Jim Boyce
The Chinese edition of wine magazine Revue du Vin de France revealed the winners of its 2012 China Wine Awards last week during Vinexpo in Hong Kong. Some of the highlights:
Person of the Year
Li Demei (Beijing University of Agriculture)
Grace Vineyard (Shanxi)
Emma Gao, Silver Heights (Ningxia)
Jade Valley (Shaanxi)
‘Dark Horse’ Wineries
XiXia King (Ningxia).
Wineries with Great Potential
Les Champs d’Or (Xinjiang)
Domaine Helan Mountain (Ningxia)
Sunshine Valley (Gansu)
There were also awards for “best value“, with Imperial Horse, 1421, Grace Vineyard and Domaine Helan Mountains among those with winning wines.
The issue of “Wineries with Great Potential” is particularly intriguing since so many people are talking about what operations and regions will lead China in the years to come. Ningxia, and northwest China to a degree, are well-regarded at the moment, although it will be interesting to see what happens in the Yunnan-Tibet border area, especially with that VATS-Moet Hennessy project, in Shandong with projects such as Lafite, Junding and Great River Hill, and in Xinjiang, including with several new projects on which Li Demei is consulting.
And it might seen strange, but I think Grace Vineyard not only deserved to win as best winery but also deserves to be in the group with great potential, since it has a long history of pushing the envelope and continues to do with recent initiatives such as using screw caps, making a wine made with open fermentation, and experimenting with new vineyards. Should be plenty of fascinating times ahead…