Alain Leroux

Outback oenology: Making wine in Xinjiang

February 18, 2009 // 3 Comments

By Alain Leroux I spent last September and October directing my first harvest in Xinjiang for Hong Liu He winery, in the outer reaches of Western China. I had a very different experience from the 12 years I have spent at Taillan winery just outside Beijing. On one on hand, I have never started with equipment in such poor shape. We had to clean everything, clean it again, and clean it once more. On the other hand, we had good grapes: no disease, a deep color for the reds, and sugar so high I thought I must be dreaming. Some […]

Starting up: Three challenges of a joint venture winery in China

January 31, 2008 // 0 Comments

– By Alain Leroux I came to China in 1996 to head the technical side of the joint venture between Bernard Taillan France and Beijing’s Sanyang Group. We have faced many challenges over the past 12 years. Here are three of the biggest in the beginning. The first challenge was human resources. Initially, we built a bottling room and imported wine from France, to be distributed in China by our sales department and with assistance from our local partner. In 1997, we started importing bulk wine and bottling in China. The problem is that the local staff had little experience […]

Pruning in Beijing: The battle against cold

December 18, 2007 // 0 Comments

– By Alain Leroux  One of the big challenges of making wine in Beijing is pruning the vines. Due to the warmer weather this year, we began pruning at Taillan one month later than usual, starting on November 7 and finishing on November 29. We plant our vines in depressions. This allows for irrigation and it makes burial of the vines easier. In order to bury the vines, we prune them to two branches. This allows us to bend the branches against the ground and cover them with 40 centimeters of soil. (Before, our local workers would prune the vines […]

Grape Wall of China 2.0: Alain Leroux

November 10, 2007 // 0 Comments

Grape Wall of China will soon begin including contributions from ten people involved in the Greater China wine scene as academics, wine-makers, distributors, educators or consumers. To kick things off, I will post a profile each day. (For more China wine info, join the Grape Wall of China group on Facebook and/or sign up for my free e-newsletter by emailing with “sign me up” in the subject line.) Today’s profile: Alain Leroux Main focus: Wine industry “Hailing from France, Alain Leroux has been general manager of Taillan winery, just outside Beijing in Hebei province, for a dozen years. Taillan, […]