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

Life gets frustrating at times. (Pic:


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, make verjuice. Thus, I will post about the Ningxia Wine Challenge on Grape Wall blog until the official site is back online. In other words, this is now the official unofficial site. Things to note:

  • For more details on what the Ningxia Wine Challenge involves and/or to apply for the project, click here.
  • In sum, applicants need to send a CV and a completed form (click here) to apply (at)
  • The application deadline remains Friday, July 27, at 5 PM — your time. That gives some applicants — especially in California, Chile and the like — a little extra time to enter.
  • I will be posting soon about the panel of five wine experts from five countries that will help decide which ten winemakers will visit Ningxia this fall.
  • And I have re-posted several items from the official site here, including general info and interviews with wine marketing expert and molecular biologist Ma Huiqin of China University of Agriculture (click here), winemaker Lilian Carter, who worked in Ningxia in 2008 and 2009 (click here), and winemaker Emma Gao of family-owned winery Silver Heights (click here).

More to come. And for those with queries, please send them to info (at)

(Thank you to those who contacted me about the hacked site. Disturbing to learn how many others have gone through the same ordeal. Your support and advice are appreciated.)

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