Ningxia Nano | China’s First Single-Berry Brand “The Drop” to Launch This Week

The Drop is about to drop. Today, select wine bars in China will start selling this single-berry Ningxia wine created by Barossa-trained winemaker Shan Yudi.

“The Drop is the world’s tiniest wine at just 1 ml per bottle”, says Shan, who created the wine by sourcing hundreds of Marselan grapes at a vineyard in Ningxia’s Qingtongxia region last fall.

The Drop is the world’s tiniest commercial wine.

“We ultimately made 725 bottles of The Drop. Each bottle is made from a single grape and expresses the vineyard terroir and life journey of that berry,” explains the Burgundy-trained winemaker. “It also reduces our carbon footprint — we can fit our entire 2021 vintage in one suitcase.”

Napa-trained Shan picked Marselan as it is becoming a signature grape of China – there’s even a World Marselan Day now – but said she faced many challenges in making the wine.

One grape, one bottle, one experience

She had to build custom equipment, including the world’s tiniest wine press, which can create tear-sized amounts of juice while squeezing one grape. On the other hand, there were real tears.

“We originally had 726 grapes but one fell off and I accidentally squished it with my boot,” she said while weeping. “I think about that Lost Drop every time I pour my tiny wine into my tiny glass.”

Grapes were sourced from Ningxia’s Qingtongxia region.

Each bottle of The Drop, which lists the bunch number and grape number, contains 1 ml of artisanally hand-crafted natural wine. And each is a one-of-a-kind creation that depends on the individual grape.

“It depends when I picked the grape, if it was in the front or the back of the bunch, its angle versus the sun, how long I squeezed it in my tiny press and more,” said Shan, who also trained in Stellenbosch and Mendoza. “People detected a smoky note in a few of the bottles but I think that’s because I was actually smoking a cigar while making those. I guess that’s the beauty and unpredictability of wine.”

Even so, the wines do share some general characteristics. Shan says to expect a soft supple wine loaded with a treasure trove of ripe berry flavors and hints of clove and cassis. She suggests pairing it with local Ningxia favorite, lamb kebabs.

“Tiny lamb kebabs, that is, ha ha ha ha.”

Shan says her next step is to go on a promotion tour with her tiny bottles.

“We are contacting leading wine bars, like The Merchants in Beijing, MUST in Guangzhou, The Weeknd in Shenzhen and La Cava in Shanghai to stock our wines,” she says. “We also intend to join the Wine to Asia trade fair in Shenzhen with — what else — the world’s tiniest wine booth.”

Tiny wines require tiny glasses.

Shan Yudi ??? says it’s all part of making her own tiny contribution to China’s wine trade… and to April Fool’s Day!

Check out previous Grape Wall April Fool’s posts:

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