The best location to produce wine in China is …
There is on ongoig quest to decide where the prestigious Chinese wine of the future will come from. Current investments by French companies illustrate this competition between three different locations: Ningxia province, in the center of China, the north of Ningxia has a warm and dry weather that enables tha growth of grapes in good conditions; Shandong province, a peninsula in the northeast, the place where wine grapes where introduced in China and mountains of Yunnan, a province with very varied types of weather in the west of China. Some other attempts are made on the outskirts of Beijing.
Wine Actors in China
Domaines Barons de Rotschild (DBR) has chosen the Pinglai peninsula in Shandong with a total surface of 15 hectares. Shandong has a long experience of wine making in China but suffers from a bad image regarding quality so far. Wineries settled in Shandong have favored quantity over quality. Another issue in Shandong in the wet weather.
LVMH, a wold leader in wine production, has chosen Ningxia to produce a Chinese sparkling wine on 60 hectares and Yunnan to produce red wine (Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon). LVMH executive Jean-Guillaume Prats is very enthusiastic about the production of wine in China “ This is a new eldorado, this is a new world for wine”. According to him, nobody really knows how and where wine can be produced in China so far, some attemps have been made with various results, people are beginning to have an idea of the places that can be suited, but nobody is really sure of anything. Everything has still to be proven.
Ningxia has taken the lead recently, at the London Decanter World Wine Award, where a red wine produced in this province earned one of the most important prices . This event has drawned the attention inside the wine world, but the wine produced thare is mostly unknown of Chinese consumers that are more aware of the Shandong attempts.
There is a long way to go. The production of quality wine in these areas is too recent to know exactly what will the outcome be, and many adjustments will have to be made depending on the firts results. It will be years before one knows what the taste of good Ningxia wine exactly shoule be.
The case of Shandong is quite different. It was in 1892 that the first grapes where planted there and this is the place chosen by Domaines Barons de Rotschild to produce wine with eight varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon on hills close to a large lake.
The trouble there is rain. A part of the leaves are cut off the vines to ensure more sun for the remaining ones, and additional vagetation is planted between each wine to absorb humidity. This is kind of experimental and the wine that will come out of this process remains partly a mystery.
Yunnan has be elected by LVMH to produce red wine after three years of studies about the soil, the weather and irrigation. The areas are located in the mountains of Yunnan, a region of China with all kinds of weather, including tropical weather and eternal snows. The location where wine is produced has some similarities with the Bordeaux region.
The way how China will be able to produce high quality wine in China will be a fascinanting process to observe, the market has a potential which s huge and is expected to increase by 40% before 2016.
Article written by Beijing rent apartment, Real Estate China