China wine distribution: Summergate and Ningxia’s Kanaan sign deal

July 14, 2015 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce After months of rumors, importer / distributor Summergate officially inked a deal with Ningxia producer Kanaan during a ceremony in Shanghai. Kanaan has achieved accolades from critics at home and abroad during the past two years, both for its whites, including a dry Riesling and a semisweet Riesling-Chardonnay, and for its Cabernet-Merlot blends. Owner Wang Fang lived in Germany for nearly a decade before returning home determined to make Riesling and quickly established herself on the China scene. Headed by Ian Ford, Summergate has more than 15 years of experience in the China market and is partnered with retailer Pudao Wines. […]

Eureka! Check out California Wine Institute’s new project in China

June 30, 2015 // 1 Comment

My experience with U.S. regional wine promotions in China has not been great during the past decade or so. Yes, I have managed to get on the radar for some events, including a few good ones, but I have often wondered what it takes to remain a blip. A California Wine Institute (CWI) tasting earlier this month in Beijing is a good example. I only knew about the event due to Alex Chen, of U.S. wine importer and distributor Alexander Wines in Shanghai, a single contact that apparently gave me greater guanxi than many other people. This was evident when I showed up to a […]

Ningxia Winemakers Challenge II: Featuring up to 60 foreign winemakers, USD135,000 in prizes

June 29, 2015 // 0 Comments

Note: As in 2012, I am working with the organizers of NWC to help spread word about this project to foreign winemakers and media outlets. A new two-year Ningxia Winemakers Challenge slated for this September will involve up to sixty participants and a prize pool of RMB840,000 (EUR120,000 / USD135,000), a steep increase on the seven foreign winemakers and RMB190,000 that were part of the inaugural project from 2012 to 2014. The application period for NWC opened one week ago and people hailing from more than a dozen countries have already signed up. The deadline is July 17, with the successful applicants to be announced around […]

California Wine Institute in China seeks social media whiz

June 29, 2015 // 0 Comments

Got mad communication skills? California Wine Institute seeks a savvy social media person to handle its China outreach, which covers everything from California wine news–vintage reports, drought updates, and more–to promotion and coverage of CWI events. If you are a master of weixin and weibo, of Facebook and Twitter, and more, this might be up your alley. The ideal candidate will have some wine knowledge, particularly of California wine, although the most crucial factors for this position are language skills (English and Chinese) and social media experience. To apply or for more information, contact Chris Beros at

Wine package: Get a Nine Peaks Cabernet, Chardonnay and vine for ~rmb250

June 14, 2015 // 0 Comments

Who wants a vine!? I bought a dozen bottles of Chardonnay, a dozen bottles of Cabernet and a dozen vines last month at Chateau Nine Peaks in Shandong. It should all arrive in Beijing in a week or so. My plan is to package a vine, Cabernet and Chardonnay for ~rmb250 (I’ll know the final price after delivery). Given the regular price of Nine Peaks, it’s a crazy good deal. In short, the goal isn’t to make money but simply to pass along a deal on what I consider among the best wines made in Shandong, Plus, vines! Anyway, pick up […]

BBQ party: Radoux, Diam host winemakers event in Ningxia

June 10, 2015 // 0 Comments

Barrel supplier Radoux and closure maker Diam teamed up to host a BBQ for winemakers at the Kempinski Hotel in Ningxia on February 9, the eve of this year’s Site Vinitech. The event gave many of the region’s winemakers a chance to try each other’s products and to get plenty of calories ahead of what should be a very busy three days. Producers like Xi Xia King, Legacy Peak, Leirenshou and Chandon were among those who provided wines. It was interesting to see the differences among them, and thus to underscore the growing diversity of the scene, and personal favorites included entry level Helan Qing Xue […]

China wine distribution: Word is Summergate has partnered with Kanaan in Ningxia

June 10, 2015 // 0 Comments

~ I’m in Ningxia this week for Site Vinitech and a well-placed source says that Summergate has inked a deal to distribute wines from well-regarded local project Kanaan after a process that has lasted some eight months. If so, Summergate would be the latest in a long line of importers / distributors with national reach signing deals with local producers, including The Wine Republic with Helan Qing Xue of Ningxia, East Meets West with Chateau Nine Peaks of Shandong and Legacy Peak of Ningxia, and China Wine & Spirits with Hansen of Inner Mongolia. Kanaan has a rep for making decent wines at decent […]

China wine trade shows: Ningxia to host Site Vinitech this week

June 8, 2015 // 0 Comments

Ningxia will host the trade show Site Vinitech from June 10 to June 12. This is the second straight year Ningxia has hosted the event. The Mendoza region in Argentina will host next year. Site Vinitech covers everything from barrels and bottles to nurseries and vineyard equipment. There will also be a series of short presentations on June 11 by members of a French delegation. The topics include vineyard management, wine filtration, barrel aging — see the schedule here. For more details on this three-day event, check the Site Vinitech page here.

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