A couple weeks ago, we did a post on Chinese burgeoning wine industries, entitled, “China: Get Thee To A Winery.” Since then, the Dallas Morning News did its own story, entitled, “Wine From China? Why Not?” (h/t to the On The Wine Trail in Italy Blog (who told me about the Dallas Morning News article in a comment to our first post and to Wine Sediments Blog which did a post on the story), detailing a China-United States joint venture winery called the China Silk Winery, led by Jennifer Hong, formerly of leading U.S. wine producer, Kendall-Jackson. The China Silk Winery is succeeding at producing quality wines in Xinjiang:
Two of the five wines, China Silk Marco Polo White and China Silk Marco Polo Red, have already won bronze medals in this year’s San Francisco International Wine Competition. Not bad for $7 bottles of wine.
The unoaked white is primarily chardonnay with a bit of Riesling added. “I tried to give it more floral, more fruit in the nose,” Ms. Hong says. “It’s a very easy-drinking wine.” It shows light citrus and tropical notes, with a hint of grapefruit.
Similarly unoaked, the red blends cabernet sauvignon, merlot and syrah. It starts with soft, dark berries, adding toasted red pepper and silky tannins in the mouth. “It goes with everything,” Ms. Hong says. “It’s more European in style, more restrained.”
And yes, the grapes are grown in China, in the foothills of the Tian Shan mountain range in Urumqi, Xinjiang. Ms. Hong shuttles between there and her home in San Francisco.
China Silk wines are available now (though not widely) in the United States for around $7.
The Far East is so keen on Ice Wine that China’s biggest wine producer Changyu has set up an alliance with Canadian Ice Wine maker Aolos to build what is expected to be the largest Ice Wine estate in the world. http://www.ap-foodtechnology.com/dtechnology.com/ has commented that China is one of few wine markets that are still expanding, with double-digit growth each year. Changyu, based in Yantai, Shandong Province, dominates the country’s wine market with a 21 per cent share and annual capacity of 80,000 tons!
According to Wilf’s Wine Press Blog, in a post entitled, “Who’s on First,” claims are even being made that China was the first country to produce wine.