Wine word: China winery Great River Hill to join East Meets West portfolio

great river hill shandong chateau nine peaks cabernet sauvignon 2011 blind tasting in beijing china

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By Jim Boyce

Expect China-based wine importer and distributor East Meets West to add local winery Qingdao Great River Hill to its portfolio, say sources from both sides.

Great River Hill established itself in Shandong but skipped the popular wine-producing areas on the coast in favor of ~100 hectares in the hilly outskirts of Laixi, a city of less than a million some 100 kilometers inland. The first vintage was 2011 and included a Chardonnay and entry-level and ‘reserve’ Cabernet Sauvignons under the label “Chateau Nine Peaks“. The key investor is Karl Hauptmann, who also has wine projects in Germany, Bulgaria and elsewhere.

East Meets West is owned by Edouard Duval and Gregory Bielot. It has main offices in Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Shenzhen, and representative offices in Hangzhou, Nanjing, Qingdao, Shenyang, Suzhou, Tianjin and Xi’an. It represents more than 50 wineries from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Chile, France, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, the United States and now China.

Wines from Great River Hill have received praise in numerous tastings, including about a half-dozen I have organized, with the key issue being distribution. It now looks like we will be seeing these wines pop up in more bars, restaurants and hotels.

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