Last year’s lone wine trip outside China was to California in October and it came just after the new edition of The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil was released. A fellow traveler picked up a copy of this massive tome — it’sÂ almost 1000 pages — and I checked to see if it had any China coverage.
Indeed, it does. There is an overview of the market, short entries on key provinces and regions that produce wine, and sidebars on topics like fake wine. Market watchers will quibble with some parts for being too simple or vague — such as the claimÂ China is split between huge producers doing cheap wines and small ones doing expensive ones, or the list of easily recognizable white grapes planted that only names Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Semillon, even though RieslingsÂ are far more prominent than the latter two — but the bookÂ nevertheless lets readers know that China has an increasingly important wine industry.
Media coverage of that industry has grown by leaps and bound over the past three to five years althoughÂ English-language books about it are still relatively rare. Two recent ones areÂ A Decent Bottle of Wine in ChinaÂ by Chris Ruffle, about his trials and tribulations in establishing Treaty Port Vineyard in Shandong, andÂ Thirsty Dragon: Chinaâ€™s Lust for Bordeaux and the Threat to the Worldâ€™s Best WinesÂ by Suzanne Mustacich â€” reviews coming soon. Works likeÂ The World Atlas of WineÂ by Hugh Johnson and Jancis RobinsonÂ also have sections on China. I’ve created a books page hereÂ that includes these, and other wine books I like, and will update it as more become available.
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