Media: “Shanxi takes on wine world”

Thanks to GS for forwarding a South China Morning Post article about China’s Grace VineyardShanxi takes on wine world – by Mark Graham (registration required). I think these two paragraphs sum things up:

In less than five years, Grace Vineyard, located in out-of-the-way Shanxi province has not only turned into a profitable venture, it also is producing vintages that are being accepted on to the wine lists of the Peninsula and Shangri-La hotels.

It is a remarkeable success story, especially given the challenges of setting up a vineyard from scratch in such a hardscrabble region.

Grace CEO Judy Leissner – check my April interview with her – stresses Grace’s low volume. “We produce 500,000 bottles a year compared to the 100 million bottles of the major producers such as Great Wall, Changyu and so on. We are serious about wine.” She also notes that a second vineyard is planned.

The dominant picture in the article shows an elderly picker, cigarette dangling from his mouth, holding a container of grapes. It serves to underscore that while China’s market for wine develops, huge inequalities exist. As SCMP puts it:

Few people in Shanxi itself would be able to afford even the cheapest, HK$68 wine in the range; peasants living nearby would need to splurge several months’ wages to buy the top-of-the-shelf Chairman’s Reserve, that retails for HK$488.

Grace fared well both in my first blind tasting of Chinese wines and in my second (the notes will soon be posted). It also came out on top in a major blind tasting in Shanghai. And this weekend, I’m planning to try the winery’s Deep Blue – which is 60 percent Merlot, 30 percent Cabernet Franc and 10 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, which is not yet on the market, and which – fingers crossed – holds the promise of being among the best wines ever to be made in China.

Torres distributes Grace wine.

Sign up for the Grape Wall newsletter here. Follow Grape Wall on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. And see my sibling sites World Marselan DayWorld Baijiu Day and Beijing Boyce. Grape Wall has no advertisers, so if you find the content useful, please help cover the costs via PayPal, WeChat or Alipay. Contact Grape Wall via grapewallofchina (at)

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply