August 2012

Ningxia wine awards: Jancis Robinson, Huiqin Ma among judges of 49-bottle contest in Yinchuan

August 29, 2012 // 0 Comments

A mix of wine judges from China and abroad will gather this week to taste 49 wines made in region of Ningxia. The judges will include UK wine writer Jancis Robinson, author of the Oxford Companion of Wine and co-author of the World Atlas of Wine, and professor Ma Huiqin, who works at China Agricultural University and will moderate the discussion. The tasting will be held in Yinchuan, capital city of Ningxia, as part of the first annual Helan Mountain wine festival. The eastern side of the Helan Mountain range is home to Ningxia’s wineries, which have a growing reputation […]

Are you going to San Francisco? California Grapes holds test-run of Beijing wine shop

August 25, 2012 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce The polished cement floor is meant to evoke San Francisco Bay, the large round lights to evoke the Golden Gate Bridge, the shelves loaded with wine from California to evoke… a desire to open a lot of bottles, at least if last Saturday night was any indication. California Grapes, a retail shop that will soon open in the Sanlitun Soho complex in Beijing with as many as 300 different products, held a test run last weekend. The official launch should happen in the next week or so and will mean yet another wine bar in an area […]

Cabernet Ger-what? Waitrose in London stocks Chinese wine from Changyu

August 25, 2012 // 2 Comments

UK supermarket chain Waitrose has added its first Chinese wine, a Cabernet Gernischt from Changyu, one of the China’s top three producers in terms of volume. The wine is made in Ningxia and will retail for ~10 pounds or ~rmb100. From Harpers Wine and Spirits Trade Review: Wine buyer Katie Mollet, who buys the Chinese wine, said: “We’re hoping to bring in a new era of lesser known wines being sold in the UK as the interest in China, and more specifically the Chinese wine industry, continues to grow. “We scoured the world to find exciting new wines and were […]

Pisano on the patio: Torres China opens first Everwines branch in Beijing

August 24, 2012 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce Torres China, which distributes wine from 16 nations and handles two of this country’s top brands — Grace Vineyards and Silver Heights — has opened its first Everwines retail shop in Beijing. The shop is on Xindong Road, close to both Sanlitun and Workers Stadium, areas known as food, beverage and nightlife hubs. It follows on similar outlets in Xi’an, Chengdu and Shanghai. Along with retail space, Everwines includes two patios (one out front with plenty of sun, one out back with plenty of shade), two lounge areas (one as part of the retail space, one as […]

Ningxia Wine Challenge Q&A: Winemaker Craig Grafton of Helan Mountain

August 12, 2012 // 0 Comments

In the lead up to the Ningxia Wine Challenge, we are posting some expert views of this region of China, including from professor Ma Huiqin and winemakers Emma Gao and Lilian Carter. Here is another one, from winemaker Craig Grafton, an Australian who has worked since 2011 for Pernod Ricard in Ningxia at its joint project, Helan Mountain. Grafton has also made wine throughout Australia, including the Barossa Valley, Clare Valley and Yarra Valley, has done vintages in Bordeaux, France and Sonoma Valley, California, and has degrees in applied science and viticulture from Charles Sturt University in New South Wales, […]

OIV in Ningxia: President Quini, Director-General Castellucci to visit Yinchuan in August

August 10, 2012 // 0 Comments

The Ningxia region of China will develop its ties to the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) when top officials from that intergovernmental group visit later this month for the Helan Mountains East Piedmont Wine Conference. Both OIV President Claudia Inés Quini and OIV Director-General Federico Castellucci will visit Yinchuan, capital of Ningxia, which this year became the first province or region in China to join the OIV as an observer. Yantai is an observer on a municipal level. According to the OIV, as of June, the organization consisted of “45 Member States which represent nearly 80% of the […]

Ningxia Wine Challenge: The Expert Panel Selects Ten Candidates

August 2, 2012 // 1 Comment

By Jim Boyce The Ningxia Wine Challenge will fund ten winemakers to visit the Ningxia region, join harvest and make one red wine and one white wine this fall. As noted a few weeks ago: The Ningxia Wine Challenge is an opportunity for people who seek an adventure, enjoy cultural exchange and are interested in learning about and making wine in one of the most promising wine regions, Ningxia, in one of the most promising wine countries, China. The participants will meet local winemakers and share ideas, meet their fellow visiting winemakers, and try wines from the region. They will […]

Ningxia Wine Challenge update: List of ten finalists coming soon…

August 1, 2012 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce Interest in the Ningxia Wine Challenge has been much stronger than expected. The organizers have received more than 50 applications from wine makers of 15 nationalities since the contest launched on July 13. The deadline for applications was July 27. On July 29, the information for those applicants who sent both a complete form and a CV were sent to the five panelists who agreed to help select the 10 finalists for the challenge — Mihalis Boutaris, Lilian Carter, Li Demei, Liz Thach and Mireia Torres. Most panelists have returned their picks to Professor Ma Huiqin of […]