Fair game: Grape Wall, Wine to Asia partner for Marselan tasting

Mission complete: the first World Marselan Day event at a trade fair.

Over two dozen Marselan from across China–and one from Spain!–were featured in the themed tasting area at Shenzhen International Wine & Spirits Fair organized by Wine to Asia / Veronafiere in May.

The Marselan hailed from regions like Shandong, Hebei and Shanxi, with a wide selection of Ningxia wine we separated into sub-regions like Qingtongxia, Yinchuan and Yongning.

The brand name of the lone imported Marselan, from Spain’s Neleman, especially helped attract people — I asked passers-by if they wanted to try some “Just Fucking Good Wine” and they almost invariably said yes.

One highlight was the rep from Scurek, who uses his Marselan in Slovenia to make pet-nat, coming over from his booth to taste the lineup and chat with winemaker Zhao Desheng of Domaine Franco-Chinois in Huailai County about this grape.

Another was a trade fair exhibitor bringing over a Marselan that she imports from Serbia’s BT Winery.

And yet another was the enthusiasm of those who had not tried Marselan being surprised by the quality and diversity of the wines. Check out this video to see the people and wines on hand.

This is the second time Wine to Asia and World Marselan Day have partnered in Shenzhen, following last year’s consumer tasting at Wine Universe.

Wine to Asia also sponsored the Marselan blending class at The Merchants in Beijing in 2021.

Since arriving in China two decades ago, Marselan has spread across the country and is seen by many as an equivalent to Argentina’s Malbec, South Africa’s Pinotage and California’s Zinfandel.
Marselan, a cross of Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache, is capable of everything from soft fruity easy-to-drink wines many newcomers enjoy to the more sophisticated drops that appeal to aficionados. And has earned the local wine trade hundreds of contest medals and some of its highest scores from critics.
Grape Wall of China launched World Marselan Day in 2018 as an annual event officially held on April 27, the birthday of Paul Truel, who created this grape near the town of Marseillan in south France in 1961. Truel hoped to marry the best of two grapes, including the structure of Cabernet Sauvignon and higher yields and heat resistance of Grenache. Marselan is now commercially made in over two dozen nations, with China among the leading producers.
This year saw World Marselan Day events across China, from Ningbo to Xi’an to Beijing to Shanghai to Guangzhou to Shenzhen, with a strong focus on reaching consumers.

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