‘Best value’ in China: Sommelier Hans Qu on his three-month wine trip in Chile

photo of hans qu in chile by hans qu
Hans Qu chilling out in Chile (Photo: Wines of Chile / Hans Qu)

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By Jim Boyce

Sommelier Hans Qu spent the last three months of 2013 traveling through Chile — visiting vineyards, drinking wine and hanging out with Patricio Tapia of the guidebook Descorchados. (Chilean hospitality must be good because he looked very healthy when I saw him in Beijing a few weeks ago.) Wines of Chile posted this interview with Qu about his travels, the wines he liked and his background in the industry. He also made some comments about China (my highlights):

Chilean wine has a very good reputation in China. It is the best value, and in the future Chilean wine has a very good market in Asia. If just one percent of the Chinese population drink wine every week, the whole of Chile would have to plant vines everywhere – on the rooftops even!

But Chile faces a problem with the Asian market because it is so far away, it takes 35 hours to get here. I want to let [Chinese consumers] see what I am seeing and share with them the experience. I hope I can bring more people to Chile to share the experience, too.

Qu also covered the changing face of the Chinese consumer market and the students in his classes:

Before people went for the most expensive wine or something very cheap and now people are getting more interested in different wine, it is a very good direction that I see. I also see more and more people coming to study, it’s very interesting. People come from all the different industries, the oldest pupils I have are 70 years old and the youngest is 15 years old. Her mum sends her to the class because [she thinks wine] is really good for health!

For the full interview, click here.

Qu was winner of the China National Sommelier Competition in 2009. I also know him as a judge in the Ningxia Wine Challenge in 2012 and as a participant in this tasting of nine Chinese wines just a few days before he flew to Santiago. In any case, I think it’s safe to say we’ll soon be hearing more about him in regard to Chilean wine.

hans qu ningxia wine festival 2012
Hans Qu demonstrating the BYOB technique at a formal party in China.

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