ReCalibrated | California Wine Institute to launch new China tour with niche classes

By Jim Boyce | California’s Wine Institute is hitting the road again. Master classes for the trade will be held in a dozen Chinese cities during the first half of 2017, with some stops including tastings for consumers. It’s a follow-up to the inaugural 21-city tour that spanned mid-2015 to mid-2016. And, as the program matures, classes will start to go beyond an introduction to California wines to more niche topics.

“We are expanding our master class program in 2017 due to its incredible success in 2016,” says Chris Beros, who leads the institute’s China effort.

“We see increasing interest and also knowledge about California wines, so we are adding new classes in 2017 that will be more specific to a particular region or varietal,” he adds. “There is clearly an increased interest in California wines and this is also reflected in very strong wine export data from the United States in 2016.”

The Wine Institute announced its first tour, which covered 21 cities, in mid-2005 (also see this post and this post). With that successfully under the belt, it will be interesting to see market reaction to more niche topics.

Here’s a look at the schedule, including which stops have the introductory class that covers grape varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot and Pinot Noir, the niche class focused on Zinfandel, and/or a consumer tasting.

Nanjing | February 20

Introduction to California Wines / Consumer Tasting

Ningbo | February 22

Introduction to California Wines

Hangzhou | February 24

Introduction to California Wines / Consumer Tasting

Wuhan | March 28

Introduction to California Wines / Consumer Tasting

Changsha | March 30

Introduction to California Wines / Consumer Tasting

Nanning | April 10

California Zinfandel / Consumer Tasting

Dongguan | March 12

Introduction to California Wines

Fuzhou | March 14

California Zinfandel Niche Class

Tianjin | June 12

Introduction to California Wines / Consumer Tasting

Qingdao | June 14

California Zinfandel Niche Class / Consumer Tasting

Jinan | June 16

California Zinfandel Niche Class

There will also be a California vintners tour, including master classes, in May for Beijing, Chengdu and Guangzhou, with a focus on Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. And a master class at the Southwest University of Finance & Economics in Chengdu in March.

Here are a few posters from the first tour:

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