Pu Shang winery is famous for its Marselan wines. In this Q&8, winemaker Jiang Jing talks about what inspired the planting of this grape, how the 2021 Ningxia harvest fared, her popular winery dance videos and more.
1 You were among the first to plant Marselan in Ningxia. How did that happen?
Everyone was planting and making wine with Cabernet Sauvignon. For a small winery like Pu Shang just starting out, it would have been difficult to become famous right away by making quality Cabernet Sauvignon, so we took a different route and chose Marselan.
2 What are your three favorite foods to eat with Marselan?
My favorite foods are crab, hotpot and durian.
3 The 2021 vintage was challenging. How did it turn out for Pu Shang?
The 2021 harvest was good, with production slightly higher than I expected. The biggest worry was the sugar levels might be too high, but we find it similar to previous years. The acidity is also good, better than I expected, and with fermentation successfully concluded, this is still an ideal year for me.
4 You are also known for making dance videos at Pu Shang. What inspired this?
Dancing has always been a hobby. Because the COVID-19 outbreak prevented us from going out to do promotion last year, I shot some dance videos for fun. The winery is relatively large and I did videos in different locations, such as the barrel cellar, the tank room and the vineyard, and found people started to pay attention to Pu Shang because of this. The videos are not aimed at getting publicity, dancing is simply my hobby. This year has been very busy, so there has been no time to shoot videos.
5 Wine tourism is growing in Ningxia. What’s your take?
The hospitality business has been on the rise the past two years but the tourism season was affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, including one month without any guests. But hosting visitors has really allowed me to meet a lot of wine friends and dealers, and gradually increased Ningxia’s reputation. Tours of the production areas are the most effective, the fastest way to raise awareness. I am willing to stick to it.
6 Besides Marselan, what other grape varieties have potential in Ningxia?
I think Malbec in Ningxia will be great based on some tastings so far. I think we should also develop niche varieties, such as some Italian varieties. At present, our winery is planted only with red wine varieties. If we have the means in the future, I will first consider some white wine varieties. I think Ningxia’s white wine varieties are performing very well.
7 What imported wines are you favorites?
My favorite is Italian wine, because I can always try a lot of varieties and styles I don’t know, which is very attractive to me.
8 What do you like to do in your spare time?
In my spare time, I dance, do combat sports and read books. I have many more hobbies, too—I recently started to study tarot cards.
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