By Jim Boyce | Just over half of the 48 participants in the second Ningxia Winemakers Challenge (NWC) have bottled their wines in preparation for a contest later this year that has more than USD100,000 in cash prizes. Other participants are slated to pour into the region over the next month to get their wines under cork, using either their partner facilities or this mobile bottling unit.
Launched in the fall of 2015, NWC partnered the 48 winemakers, from 18 nations, with wineries in the Ningxia region of north-central China. Based on a lottery, each winemaker was allotted three hectares of grapes in a collective vineyard in order to make a wine. Winemakers have been returning to Ningxia during the past 20 months to work on those wines.
Given different grape-picking times, wine-making skills and strategies, and levels of access to equipment, the resulting wines are expected to be diverse. The wines will be judged by a panel of experts later this year. Each wine that scores in the top ten percent will win rmb 100,000 (~USD15,000) while those in the next 20 percent will receive rmb20,000 (~USD3,000). Each winemakers will also received 2,000 bottles or his / her wine. More details on the contest soon.
Note: I helped the Ningxia wine bureau and wine federation with finding winemakers for this competition.