Wine Press | Chinese comedian’s stand-up Aussie order, Grace’s bubbly restaurant, Jancis Robinson’s China tastings

All the wine world’s a stage and China keeps getting bigger roles. Some coverage of that drama. By J. Boyce

china comedian guo degang australia wine by abc news.jpg

Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports that a Chinese comedian has agreed to import 800,000 bottles of wine to his homeland in what it calls the “largest private label wine exporting deal in Australian history”:

Guo Degang is a major celebrity in China. He owns a string of comedy clubs and has more than 64 million followers on social media site Weibo.

He was also named by Forbes China as one of the 100 richest celebrities in the country.

Now Mr Guo is going to use that influence to get into the wine business.

He plans to export 800,000 bottles of his private-label wine, made by Victorian producers, with the promise of millions more to follow.

Guo is quoted as saying that he thinks Victorian shiraz “will cater for the Chinese market and especially the Chinese taste very much.” When the wine arrives, that volume would put Guo just behind and Hungary, Canada and Georgia in terms of bottled wine imports, based on 2015 stats (see here). For the full story, click here.

Judy Chan, CEO of Grace Vineyard in Shanxi, has opened a restaurant in Fuzhou called Angelica to help sell her winery’s new series of sparkling wines of the same name. The series, which gets its name from one of Chan’s daughters, includes Cabernet Franc, Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay sparkling wines as well as a Reserve Chardonnay produced using the Champagne method. Given Fuzhou has hotter weather than many parts of China, it seems like a good place to launch such a venture.

Wine writer Jancis Robinson visited China last week and reports that she saw “very strong signs of the diversification of the Chinese wine market”. She hosted two tastings of ‘New World wines with “local wine enthusiasts” in Shanghai and Chengdu. The top-scoring white in both cities hailed from New Zealand (Kumeu River) while its red counterpart in Chengdu was from New Zealand (Craggy Range) and in Shanghai from Chile (Concha y Toro). You can see the full list of wines and scores here.

Check out the new online China Wine Directory. And get the free Grape Wall e-newsletter by signing up below.

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