By Jim Boyce | Wines of Chile held a launch party in Beijing today for its upcoming China road show, with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet noting her own ties to wine: her family emigrated to Chile in the mid-nineteenth century from France, where they were winemakers.¹ She also noted the economic ties between Chile and China, particularly in terms of a free trade pact. Chile sent 80 million bottles of wine to China in 2016 alone and ranked number four in terms of volume, behind only France, Australia and Spain, and third in value. Bachelet said the Chile wine road show will include visits to Hangzhou, Nanjing and Dalian, among other cities.
Following the speech, guests enjoyed Chilean wine and food, including turkey. I had no idea that Chile also dealt in turkey but apparently it produces more than 10 million birds per year. The wines included the expected Carmeneres, Cabernet Sauvignons and Sauvignon Blancs as well as some Syrahs, an organic bubbly and others. The Santa Alba Sauvignon Blanc was an refreshing inexpensive option and I also liked the Tabalia Syrah and the chance to try the organic Emiliani bubbly.
I had hoped to run into Mariano Larrain, who formerly ran Chilean wine bar La Cava de Laoma in Beijing and who has done a great deal in promoting his country’s wines, but he is pouring his Calcu in Shanghai today.
Hilton Beijing hosted the event on The Terrace, a sixth-floor event space on the hotel’s Executive Tower. It was my first visit there and it seems like a nice mid-sized option for events in central Beijing.
¹ According to Wikipedia: “Bachelet’s paternal great-great-grandfather, Louis-Joseph Bachelet Lapierre, was a French wine merchant from Chassagne-Montrachet who emigrated to Chile with his Parisian wife, Françoise Jeanne Beault, in 1860; he was hired as a wine-making expert by the Subercaseaux vineyards in southern Santiago.” She visited Chassagne-Montrachet in 2009.