Ningxia Wine Challenge

Ningxia Wine Challenge: The Expert Panel Selects Ten Candidates

August 2, 2012 // 1 Comment

By Jim Boyce The Ningxia Wine Challenge will fund ten winemakers to visit the Ningxia region, join harvest and make one red wine and one white wine this fall. As noted a few weeks ago: The Ningxia Wine Challenge is an opportunity for people who seek an adventure, enjoy cultural exchange and are interested in learning about and making wine in one of the most promising wine regions, Ningxia, in one of the most promising wine countries, China. The participants will meet local winemakers and share ideas, meet their fellow visiting winemakers, and try wines from the region. They will […]

Ningxia Wine Challenge update: List of ten finalists coming soon…

August 1, 2012 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce Interest in the Ningxia Wine Challenge has been much stronger than expected. The organizers have received more than 50 applications from wine makers of 15 nationalities since the contest launched on July 13. The deadline for applications was July 27. On July 29, the information for those applicants who sent both a complete form and a CV were sent to the five panelists who agreed to help select the 10 finalists for the challenge — Mihalis Boutaris, Lilian Carter, Li Demei, Liz Thach and Mireia Torres. Most panelists have returned their picks to Professor Ma Huiqin of […]

Ningxia Wine Challenge Panel: Mihalis Boutaris, Lilian Carter, Li Demei, Liz Thach and Mireia Torres

July 27, 2012 // 0 Comments

~ By Jim Boyce After the deadline for entering the Ningxia Wine Challenge — at 5 PM on July 27 — all of CVs and forms will be sent to a panel of wine experts who hail from five nations and have a link to China. The panelists will pick their top 15 candidates and those lists — and group email discussions where necessary — will determine which ten winemakers join the Ningxia Wine Challenge. Panelists will send their rankings to Ma Huiqin of China Agricultural University and Jim Boyce of Grape Wall in order for double verification of the […]

Ningxia Wine Challenge: Site hacked, contest goes on, details here

July 26, 2012 // 0 Comments

~ By Jim Boyce Recent visitors to the Ningxia Wine Challenge website might have noticed that the pacifying photo of grape vines has been replaced with a scary one of a masked man. That is because the site has been hacked. Hard to believe since we have only been posting there for two weeks. But nevertheless gutting. I wonder if this is how it feels when you open a bottle of ’61 Margaux and find it corked. Or watch hail fall on your vines a day before harvest. Well, perhaps not that bad. Anyway, if life gives you sour grapes, […]

Ningxia Wine Challenge: Details of applying

July 26, 2012 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce The region of Ningxia in northwest China will fund ten foreign winemakers to visit and practice their craft this fall as part of a two-year project. The winemakers will select grapes and make wine in the fall, then work remotely through assistants, with the option of up to three return visits. The wines will be judged in two stages, the white wines in September 2013 and the red wines in September 2014, with the best earning prizes that total rmb200,000 (USD31,000 / EUR26,000). Applicants must be able to travel to Ningxia on August 31 for orientation. The white […]

Ningxia Wine Challenge Q&A: Winemaker Emma Gao on lessons learned, grape sourcing and Cabernet Gernischt

July 26, 2012 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce Emma Gao is the winemaker at Silver Heights, a family-owned operation that she runs with her father and sister in Ningxia and that has gained a reputation for making some of China’s best wines since the first vintage in 2007. The Chinese edition of La Revue du Vin de France recently named Gao — who has a Diplôme National d’Oenologue from Bordeaux — the country’s winemaker of the year. Her flagship wines The Summit and Family Reserve are distributed by Torres China. ~ Which grape varieties do you use? How many bottles do you make a year? […]

Ningxia Wine Challenge Q&A: Professor Ma Huiqin on grapes, marketing and more

July 26, 2012 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce Professor Ma Huiqin of China Agricultural University is not only an expert on wine marketing and grape molecular biology, but also for more than a decade has taught a wine appreciation course at the school. Since finishing her postdoctoral studies at South Africa’s Stellenbosch University, Ma has completed stints at the ESA Group in France and The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and has done academic collaboration with scholars on every continent. She is helping to organize a wine conference that starts in Ningxia in late August. ~ You are helping to organize the conference for the Helan […]

Ningxia Wine Challenge Q&A: Lilian Carter on working at Helan Mountain winery

July 26, 2012 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce To give some perspective to winemakers interested in applying for the Ningxia Wine Challenge, we are featuring some interviews with people involved in the Ningxia wine scene. First up is winemaker Lillian Carter, who worked from August 2008 to December 2009 as winemaker / winery manager for Pernod Ricard at Helan Mountain winery, a joint project in Ningxia. Carter is now with Oakridge Wines in the Yarra Valley and has also worked at Domaine Chandon, also in the Yarra Valley, and Orlando Wines in the Barossa Valley. ~ What were the biggest adjustments for you in working […]

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