Playing the Pony | Ningxia winery Kanaan listed in Australia at Dan Murphy’s, SAQ in Canada in queue

By Jim Boyce | Two wines from one of China’s top wineries, Kanaan in the north-central Ningxia region, will soon be are available at retail chain Dan Murphy’s in Australia. The horse-themed Cabernet-driven blends “Pretty Pony” and “Black Beauty” should be are listed for ~RMB300 and ~RMB650.

Kanaan has risen over the past five years to join veterans like Silver Heights and Grace Vineyard as wineries with quality wine, decent value and good distribution, at least by China wine standards. The winery is run by Wang Fang a.k.a. “Crazy Fang”, who returned to Ningxia in 2011 after living in Germany. She fell in love with the white grape Riesling there, and uses it Ningxia, but is sending her red wines first to Australia.

The move Down Under makes sense given Kanaan is distributed nationally in China by the importers / distributor Summergate—including via its Pudao Wine shops—that Australian behemoth Woolworths Group bought in 2014. Woolworths also owns Dan Murphy’s under its Endeavour Drinks group of businesses. Dan Murphy’s also lists other Chinese wines: a Cabernet Gernischt from Inner Mongolia winery Hansen, for rmb120, and a Merlot from Dynasty in Ningxia for rmb45.

The Australia listing is just one of many initiatives being pursued by Wang for Kanaan. She says there are already plans to sell wine in Canada via the Société des alcools du Québec (SAC), a provincial crown corporation. SAQ has listed Chinese wines from Dynasty and Dragon’s Hollow as well as Tsingtao beer and several baijiu options.

In any case, I receive a steady stream of requests about what Chinese wines to buy and Kanaan’s “Pretty Pony” has a solid spot in my top ten. Read one of my Kanaan wine reviews here and about my experience connecting customers to Kanaan here.


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