Dragons den | Long Ting winery launches in Penglai

The newest estate to officially join China’s wine scene is Long Ting, a Shandong Peninsula operation that held its launch party yesterday. Here are five things to know about Long Ting. (Most of this info comes from Helen Lu.)

1 The name Long Ting translates to Dragon (Long 龙) Pavilion (Ting 亭). The dragon represents China, the pavilion is a place of rest, and the two together are seen as fortuitous.

2 Long Ting is family owned, established by Wang Wenjing and Song Yan, in Penglai on the Shandong Peninsula facing the Bohai Sea. Changyu winery was founded nearby in 1892 and helped to establish China’s modern wine scene.

3 Penglai also has a great deal of mythological significance. The ancient text Classic of Mountains and Seas portrays Penglai Mountain as “an isle of eternal summer in the Bohai Sea, where wine glasses refilled themselves and magic fruits granted everlasting youth.” And as the link to the homes of the Eight Immortals, who were said to live on a series of nearby islands.

4 Half of Long Ting’s 67 hectares are dedicated to the vineyards, planted in 2014 on an eastern slope and featuring Chardonnay, Petit Manseng, Marselan, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Vidal. Production capacity is 600 tons and covers dry white and red, rosé, and dessert wine. The chief winemaker Liu Layu, who joined the team in 2011.

(For those into technical info, the averages for Penglai’s wine region are 2536 hours of sunshine and 218 frost-free days. The soil at Long Ting is brown loam on sandstone, supplemented by sheep manure and volcanic rock powder. Vine density is ~4,000 per hectare. Long Ting reports that it uses no irrigation or chemical fertilizer, with sprays being bio-dynamic.)

5 This vintage has been a challenging one, with abnormal dry weather finally punctuated by a major burst of rainfall due to a late summer typhoon. The Chardonnay is expected to be concentrated — harvest got underway in late August. Here’s looking forward to trying that wine.

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