Double down: Grape Wall & Merchants host Marselan fests in Beijing & Shanghai

Good wine, good music, good weather, good people. That all added up to good vibes at this year’s World Marselan Day party on April 22 at The Merchants in Beijing.

The festival featured 50 different Marselan wines from across China and the world, and led to a follow-up party at The Merchants in Shanghai on April 30 (see below).

First, Beijing: last year’s zero-COVID era festival was raucous but held at a point when the city was on the verge of a restaurant dining ban. Given this, the event–held indoors over two floors–had a dogged ‘live life while you can” vibe that saw not a drop of Marselan left by the time the last imbibers left.

With the zero-COVID era five months behind us, this year’s party inspired a much more free-loving vibe. And it was held outside, on the terrace at The Merchants. Add a DJ and we had an afternoon of tasting wine, listening to music and chatting.

The local Marselans hailed from across the country, with a large delegation from Ningxia, while imported labels came from Spain, France, Bulgaria, Israel, Chile and Uruguay.

Check out this video: the first part shows the festival’s start when people are still arriving; the second part is when the tasting is well underway; and there are also shots of all of the labels from China and abroad.

Heading to Shanghai

While Grape Wall and The Merchants have teamed up in Beijing for World Marselan Day since 2019, this year was the first time to do so in Shanghai. The site: The Merchants sprawling new two-floor restaurant and bar in the former French Concession.

The plan: take advantage of the beautiful spring weather and hold the party streetside.

The added bonus was that along with people who bought tickets in advance, passersby saw the fun and decided to join.

Once again, a big lineup of Marselan—over 40 labels—made for a fun afternoon of enjoying wine, music and fellowship. Check out this video to see the action.

Kudos to Isabella Ko and the team at The Merchants, to the participating wineries and to the consumers who joined two afternoons of fun and helped to bring Marselan to the people. Special hat tip to Simone Incontro of Wine to Asia who flew up to Beijing for the event.

World Marselan Day is a project by Grape Wall of China, launched in 2018 to celebrate a grape gaining much traction in China here but that is also commercially produced in more than two dozen nations.

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