China wine brands | East Meets West now distributing Tiansai from Xinjiang

By Jim Boyce | Distributor East Meet West has added four wines from winery Wangzhong in Xinjiang to a portfolio that already includes local brands Chateau Nine Peaks from Shandong and Legacy Peak from Ningxia. The new listings, bottled under the Tiansai label, include two 2015 Chardonnays, including a reserve, and a Cabernet-Sauvignon and a Cabernet-Merlot, from 2013. While Wangzhong’s most intriguing wines include a Cabernet Franc and Shiraz-Viognier, these are made in small quantities. East Meets West is now in the midst of a series of Tiansai launch dinners in Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin and Chengdu.

Wangzhong’s s general manager is Chen Lizhong, previously in the bus and taxi sector in Beijing. She has overseen development of the winery from scratch, with much emphasis placed on the vineyards, not always a major priority in China.

The winemaker is Australian Lilian Carter, who came on board in 2012 for the first vintage and brought previous China experience via stints at Pernod Ricard’s Helan Mountain operation in Ningxia in 2008 and 2009. The main consultant is Li Demei, who has advised on numerous operations in China, including Helan Qing Xue and Leirenshou in Ningxia, and Zhongfei in Xinjiang.

Collage of official launch of Tiansai in Xinjiang, part of a new wave of wineries focused on quality, which starts with carefully setting up the vineyards.

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