Sales switch: A China wine with an overseas rep needs a distributor back home

Few people have a China wine resume as long as David Henderson. From being a partner when importer / distributor Montrose opened in the late eighties to now sourcing wine in Ningxia for an export-only line found in restaurants throughout the United States, he has been a fixture for a quarter-century. He also has a seemingly endless store of anecdotes, with some of my favorites concerning his travels in Ningxia with wine legend Jess Jackson long before that region became widely known.

In a world where decent Chinese wines are rarely found overseas, his Dragon’s Hollow Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon from Ningxia rank among the exceptions. Even rarer is that he is looking at coming home, so to speak, by finding a distributor for the wines in China itself. It usually works the other way: a brand gains some fame at home — by gaining awards or other accolades — and then seeks overseas sales.

Anyway, Dragon’s Hollow is made at the same facilities used by Pernod Ricard operation Helan Mountain, where Craig Grafton leads the wine-making team. Given the quality of those Helan Mountain wines, and that Dragon’s Hollow retails for less than rmb100, this sounds like a good opportunity for distributors seeking to add a good-value China brand to the portfolio.

Dragon's Hollow 2011 Chardonnay Ningxia China.jpg

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