Lafite China | Cosentino new technical director at Longdai

Longdai, the Shandong-based winery of DBR Lafite, has a new technical director — Denise Consentino. Cosentino previously worked at Shandong winery Chateau Nine Peaks in Laixi.

She takes over from Juliette Couderc and will head a technical team with vineyard manager Zhang Peng and cellar master Chen Liang. Charles Treutenaere is GM while De-Ci Wei is hospitality manager. Anna Song is China manager for DBR Lafite.

Cosentino, who hails from Italy, participated with 47 other winemakers from 19 nations in the second Ningxia Winemakers Challenge from 2015 to 2017, where she was partnered with winery Leirenshou. Before that, she taught at Northwest A&F University in Xian and had stints at Kim Crawford in New Zealand and AdamsWein in Germany.

Lafite released its first Chinese wine, Longdai, last year after more than a decade of preparation. Its second label, Hu Ye, was released last month.

As the most famous foreign wine brand in China, Lafite has instant name recognition and a consumer base willing to fork out big bucks. But it also faces a steady flow of copycats, high expectations and fierce competitors.

Longdai is in Qiushan Valley, about 25 km from the coastal city of Yantai, and close to neighboring wineries Treaty Port, Runaway Cow and Anuo. Its vines are spread over 420 plots on 30-plus hectares, including 5 hectares of newly added Cabernet Franc and Marselan.

I visited Longdai on Friday and Sunday but missed Cosentino’s arrival by a few hours. I did manage to try the wines and will write about that soon.

Also see my posts about the Vinexpo Shanghai tasting of Longdai and this Q&A with Consentino about the 2019 harvest at Nine Peaks.

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