Tasting China’s New, $250-a-Bottle Luxury Wine, Backed by LVMH

April 19, 2016

  • Meet the first serious—and seriously good—red from the fledgling wine country. The makers of a new red blend from China are aiming to lure luxury wine connoisseurs from such established regions as Napa and Bordeaux, betting they’ll spend $250 a bottle on something novel and adventurous. I got a sneak preview of the first vintage of the wine at a dinner last week in Manhattan, where I was the first U.S. journalist to taste it. The Chinese red, which is backed by luxury powerhouse LVMH, is evocatively labeled Ao Yun, which means “roaming above the clouds.” It’s a reference to the craggy, remote aeries in which the grapes are grown in the Tibetan foothills.

Jack Ma plans new Alibaba wine sales day in China

April 11, 2016

  • A new sales day devoted exclusively to deals on wine and dubbed 9/9 is to be held by online retailer Alibaba in China on 9 September, company founder Jack Ma has announced. Reporting by Jane Anson in Bordeaux, and Chris Mercer and Sylvia Wu in London

China’s most popular wine to be sold in Spain

5 Mar, 2016

  • Marques del Atrio, one of the five biggest bodegas in Rioja, will import and distribute China’s Changyu Noble Dragon wine from the end of March. More than 450 million bottles of the Chinese wine are sold already throughout the world, more than the whole of the Rioja region combined.

Chinese wineries seek inspiration in foreign cups

December 15, 2015

  • China has the world’s second-largest grape growing area, but experts say its winemakers need to innovate rather than imitate established European or New World regions if they are ever to join their ranks. When Hernandez, a Chilean, walked into a winery in Ningxia, he found an unappetising blend: brand new Chinese equipment and old French ideas about winemaking.

How China Conquered France’s Wine Country

November 24, 2015

  • In 1996, Chinese premier Li Peng surprised his audience at the National People’s Congress by toasting the Ninth Five-Year Plan with red wine: “Drinking fruit wines is helpful to our health, does not waste grain, and is good for social ethics,” he announced. For China’s rapidly growing underclass, this gesture signaled a commitment to rein in the fraud and waste epitomized by party banquets, where officials were known to drink each other under the table with bottles of Moutai Flying Fairy and other spirits derived from grain. For the elites in question, it was an unmistakable signal that business as usual required a new currency. Within a few years, they were using bottles of Château Lafite Rothschild to gain favor and ease transactions.

China’s star winemaker mixes French training, native ambition

November 15, 2015

  • Emma Gao has emerged as the unlikely new star of an even more unlikely new Chinese industry. Since her winery has begun to win international acclaim, Gao, 38, has emerged as the unlikely new star of an even more unlikely new Chinese industry. The winery, Silver Heights, has been a pioneer in China, bringing sophisticated Western winemaking techniques to what had been an industry focused on bulk production.

DAWA 2015: China triples medal wins led by Ningxia

October 5, 2015

  • Chinese wines have scored strong success in the 2015 Decanter Asia Wine Awards, winning three times as many medals as the previous year, and including a regional trophy. A total of 43 medals were awarded to Chinese wines from six regions at the 2015 Decanter Asia Wine Awards (DAWA), show results released today (5 October). China won 12 medals at DAWA 2014.

Changyu invests in Spanish wine


  • Yantai Changyu Pioneer Wine Company Ltd, a leading winery based in Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, is planning to take a 75 percent stake in the Spanish wine maker Dicot Partners SL, which officials said will help the Chinese firm globalize its brand portfolio. The company is set to spend a total 26.25 million euros ($29.5 million) on the acquisition. The stake is being bought from Spanish firms ComercialGatar and Gestion Ganuza, both of which will be left with equal shares of the remaining 25 percent of the business.

China is by far the world’s largest wine market

Jul. 30, 2015

  • China is not exactly renowned as a wine producer, yet its citizens have a serious taste for the beverage. China’s wine consumption in 2014 was more than double that of the No. 2 consumer, the United States, according to data from research firm IWSR. Between 2010 and 2014, China’s total consumption increased by about 36 per cent. Consumption in France and Italy – two major wine producers – decreased over that span. That said, China’s per capita alcohol consumption lags that of several nations.

China’s Grape Rush: Getting in on wine biz

July 8, 2015

  • MacNeil believes the Ningxia region in China will be synonymous with wine like Napa. “The idea that somewhere in the Chinese desert there might be the next great wine region in the world, it’s astounding,” MacNeil said. But for a taste you might need your passport for a while longer. Experts say Chinese wine makers are focusing on the domestic market first.

Top Chinese Wines Have Gone From Bad to Good. Will They Become Great?

June 26, 2015

  • People outside China don’t know much about these wines because so few have been exported. Only in the past couple of years have a handful grabbed medals in international wine competitions and gained media attention. Many others were (and still are) poor, thin, lacked fruit, and often suffered from basic winemaking faults. To my surprise, all 17 whites, reds, and sweeties poured were impressive. Although I didn’t find a great one, I did find several very good wines well worth trying. (See tasting notes below.)

China’s wine tastes evolving fast, says Chateau Margaux’s Thibault Pontallier

24 May 2015

  • The co-founder of Pont des Arts – a collection of exclusive wines – tells Bernice Chan he is amazed by the Hong Kong wine scene, and talks about growing up on a top wine estate

China overtakes France in vineyards

27 April 2015

  • China has become the second-largest vineyard area in the world after Spain, pushing France into third place.
  • The International Organisation of Vine and Wine (IOVW) said China now had 799,000 hectares (1.97 million acres) of land devoted to vineyards. That compared with 1.02 million hectares in Spain.

Chinese Woman Hailed as Country’s First Female Advanced Sommelier

Apr 13, 2015

  • Li Meiyu has been adjudged the first female advanced sommelier in China, a job previously unknown but which is now considered a new profession in the country. And what exactly is a sommelier? A sommelier is a wine steward, a professional who is trained and knowledgeable about wine and all the aspects of wine service.
  • Li was accredited with an Advanced Sommelier status by the Court of Master Sommelier in 2014, a step closer to the Master of Sommelier. She also won China’s Best French Wine Sommelier Competition in 2009, which was credited to her confidence, fluency in French and elegant wine serving.

Frugality drive means French wine out of fashion in China


  • Chateau Lafite Rothschild has suffered from depreciation and drastic drop in sales in China following the government’s crackdown on lavish living by officials, reports our Chinese-language sister paper Commercial Times. Not only have prices dropped but demand for the premium French wine has dropped 60%, the report said.

Chinese rivalling French to buy Bordeaux vineyards

March 18, 2015

  • So far, the Chinese own just 1.5 percent of the 7,000 vineyards in the Bordeaux region. But they started their spree just six years ago, and the last three of those years have seen sustained interest with more than two dozen properties snapped up annually.
  • With margins falling, Bordeaux’s new Chinese owners are aiming to introduce industrial efficiency and economies of scale to vineyards that used to be small, family-run affairs.

Yao Ming turns to crowdfunding to raise profile of Napa winery


  • As China’s luxury wine market cools, Yao Ming, the former National Basketball Association all-star, is inviting US wine and basketball enthusiasts to own a piece of his Napa Valley winery, for as little as US$5,000 per person. Yao Family Wines plans to raise US$3 million (S$4 million) via Crowdfunder, a website for entrepreneurs to get funding from fans.

1 in 5 Chinese Wines Close to European Standard


  • Some 173 wines were tasted by the pair, accompanied by 12 French and Chinese reviewers, in Beijing last week. In total, 31 wines were selected for inclusion in the book: 24 red wines, six white wines and a sparkling wine scored the requisite 13 out of 20. “I think 15 to 20 percent were very good, quite close to the standard found in France and Europe,” Bettane said.

Ripe for business: Chinese students learn wine trade in Bordeaux

March 4, 2015

  • In 2013, China surpassed France to become the world’s top consumer of red wine — a 136 percent increase in only five years, according to Vinexpo, the industry group that hosts the world’s largest wine and spirits fair. China is now the world’s fifth largest consumer of wines in general, after France, Italy, the United States and Germany.
  • Even the wine schools are tapping the Chinese market. Yuchen Zhou, a 28-year-old from Beijing, first came to Bordeaux to obtain a master’s degree in finance but she was seduced by the wine industry, landing a job with Cafa to help it open a Beijing unit.

Chinese: Big Luxury Spenders and Red Wine Lovers

June 21, 2014

  • Chinese are spending large amounts of cash on luxury goods in major cities around the world. Paris has become a prime shopping attraction for many Chinese tourist groups, the last stop on a multicity, multinational European bus tour. The average shopper in Paris spends 1,300 euros on shopping. Galleries Layfayette in Paris reports that the typical Chinese tourist spent 1,000 euros in two hours of shopping during 2009, 87 percent of it on fashion items, including shoes and handbags. The number of Chinese tourists to France in 2010 rose to 550,000, and they spent 650 million euros ($890 million). In 2009, Chinese surpassed Russians as the highest spending non-European visitors to France reports David Shambaugh. (1)

Chinese toast wine tourism


  • Countries are working to lure a bigger chunk of the growing number of winery visitors from the world’s second-largest economy.
  • Wineries are a major part of the tourism offerings in Europe, the United States, South America, Australia and New Zealand, and are increasingly catering to the Chinese market, which is a growing force in the global wine trade. “We recognize in Australia that the Chinese market is going to make a difference down the track, and we pitch to the Chinese,” says Amy Burch, general manager of Burch Family Wines in Western Australia.

Italian wine producers join forces to reach Chinese market


  • Italy’s wine producers have begun to fill the gap with other export-driven countries in what they consider a “highly promising” Chinese market. Wine exports are an important motor of the Italian economy, official figures have shown. Last year, wine was the most exported agri-food product, with €5.1 billion (US$7 billion) and a growth rate of 8% compared to 2012.
  • However, Italian still wine bottles only saw a 6.5% market share in China’s wine imports last year, less than half compared to some 10 years ago, marketing director of Casa Vinicola Zonin, a leading Italian wine producer, Stefano Silenzi, said at a conference at the Milan Foreign Press Association.

Wine exports hit by Chinese austerity

7 Apr 2014

  • As Chinese authorities crack down on corruption, sales of foreign wine are feeling the pain, and Australian exporters aren’t exempt. Rabobank senior analyst Marc Soccio says sales have been depressed since the Chinese Lunar New Year, and many of the big Australian players in that market are reporting that trade is down.

Chinese fast becoming Australia’s top wine tourists


  • Tourism Research Australia data shows that international winery visitors have been increasing five times faster than total international visitors since 2000, growing at an average annual rate of 5 per cent. The proportion of Chinese winery visitors has increased from 7 per cent to 10 per cent over the past three years, putting them behind visitors from the UK (17 per cent) but ahead of the US (9 per cent), New Zealand (8 per cent), Singapore (8 per cent) and Malaysia (6 per cent).

China’s New Obsession: French Wine

JAN. 25, 2014

  • BORDEAUX, France — WHEN the Bordeaux International Wine Institute, which offers business management training in the oenological arts, opened its doors in 2004, it had 20 students, mostly from domestic French wineries. Today it has 105. What is most striking about this year’s class isn’t its size, but its composition. Though students come from places as diverse as India and Turkey, one group of foreigners stands out: Chinese students make up almost 30 percent, the largest group by nationality behind the French. Their American classmates comprise less than 4 percent.

China becomes biggest market for red wine, with 1.86bn bottles sold in 2013

29 January 2014

  • The Chinese appear to have beaten the French at one of their own favourite pastimes – quaffing red wine. China’s drinkers knocked back 1.86bn bottles of vin rouge last year, an increase of 136% over five years, making the country the leading market for red wine. However some experts say the boom, which has led to increasing interest from Chinese buyers in French vineyards, is more a matter of cultural sensibilities than taste.

$39,700 bottle of wine sets record

25 Nov 2013

  • A case of 1978 Romanée-Conti Grand Cru sold for $476,280 on Saturday, setting a record for Romanée-Conti and making it one of the most expensive cases ever sold at auction. That works out to about $39,700 per bottle or about $4,900 per glass. Christie’s said the buyer was from Asia. The sale price was more than three-times the high estimate for the case.
  • The sale shows that despite a slowdown earlier this year in wine sales to Chinese and Hong Kong buyers, demand for the most prestigious bottles remain strong. Chinese buyers are paying especially high prices for Romanée-Conti, which is regarded as the top status wine brand in China.

Sotheby’s HK Brings in $12 mn in Wine Sale, Beats Estimate

October 07, 2013

  • Strong prices were achieved in the two sales, led by the lot of six-bottle Romanee Conti 1990 Domaine de la Romanee Conti, which sold for HK$1.16m (US$150,000), above its HK$850,000 (US$109,000) high estimate. It was followed by the lot of nine-bottle Romanee Conti 1989 Domaine de la Romanee Conti at HK$857,500 (US$110,000), beating its high estimate of HK$700,000.

Wealthy Chinese drink to their success at Hong Kong wine auction

Oct 6, 2009

  • Hong Kong has overtaken London and New York as Sotheby’s largest wine market after the auction house this weekend sold $7.9m of rare vintage to deep-pocketed Asian collectors. One mainland Chinese connoisseur splashed out an eye-popping $93,077 (€63,563, £58,436) for a bottle of 1982 Chateau Petrus Imperial, in another example of how wealthy Chinese are setting records in markets from wine to property.

Spanish winemakers in China push at Hong Kong fair

06 NOVEMBER 2013

  • AFP – Spanish winemakers said Wednesday they are pushing to make gains in the potentially vast Chinese wine market as they showcase their wares at one of Asia’s largest wine fairs in Hong Kong. The International Wine and Spirits Fair, which partnered with Spain this year, has attracted more than 1,000 producers from around the world, as the southern Chinese city cements its position as an international wine hub.


8th November, 2013

  • Austrian winemaker Lenz Moser is in “advanced stages” with two leading supermarkets to bring wines from China’s Château Changyu Moser XV, whom he consults for, into the UK.
  • In addition to the new range, Château Changyu, based in Ningxia, will be launching a second wine in the Bordeaux model called Moser Family Cabernet 2010 in the UK through Berry Bros next January, priced at around £20 a bottle.

Californian wines: China’s latest crush?

November 11, 2013

  • Wealthy individuals, middle-class wine lovers and professional investors from China are snapping up Californian vintages and hunting for vineyards, dealers say.
  • Exports from California, America’s largest wine producing region, jumped 20% in 2012 on a year earlier. China is now the state’s fifth largest export market for wine.

How China Became the Wine World’s Most Unlikely Superpower

Oct. 31, 2013

  • Experts over at the International Organization of Vine and Wine tell us however that there’s no need to start hoarding: world wine production this year has been exceptional, reaching seven-year highs, and consumption is beginning to stabilize. The real curiosity to take away from Morgan Stanley’s report is China’s ongoing and insatiable thirst for wine—the shortfall in supply is partly down to the fact that the superpower’s consumption of wine has doubled twice in the last five years, outstripping even U.S. demand. In fact China’s love of wine is growing at such a rate that it is expected to become the world’s largest consumer of wine by 2016.

Vineyards eye China for growth

September 11, 2013

  • Australia’s First Families of Wine, a group of 12 family-owned wineries, are spending two weeks travelling through Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong to meet retailers, officials, shoppers and the trade press over a series of dinners and tastings.

Yao Ming’s Wine Company Sets Sights On China’s Growing Middle Class

September 06 2013

  • The 2-year-old winery, located in Northern California’s renowned wine country, has announced a new selection of cheaper wines to be marketed to China’s rising middle class. But the wines, which officially launched in China this week, aren’t exactly bargain bottles. According to the Wall Street Journal, a 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon is retailing for 535 yuan, or roughly $87. It’s a significant discount from Yao’s higher-end wines, all of which are reds ranging from 1,775 yuan ($290) to 6,125 yuan ($1,000) per bottle, but the 535-yuan price tag will still likely be a bit steep for many Chinese buyers.

Will China ever be a wine superpower?

5 September 2013

  • When the European Union raised tariffs on Chinese solar panels earlier this year, China said it would investigate complaints from Chinese wine producers about the “dumping” of European wine on the Chinese market. For many it was news that China made wine at all. But it does – of widely varying quality.

China’s growing interest in Californian wine

1 October 2013

  • Popping a cork and pouring a glass of something red or white is a status symbol for China’s emerging middle class. As a result, Chinese investment is moving into the US wine industry, and some of America’s top winemakers are touting their products in China. In 2011, winery Sloan Estate, in Rutherford, in California’s Napa Valley, was sold for $40m (£25m) to Chinese investors.

French winemakers seek elusive Chinese blend

OCT 20, 2013

  • PENGLAI, CHINA – The world’s fine winemakers have exacting standards for soil, climate and cultivation to produce the perfect grape. And they are looking to re-create that unlikely blend in China, which is better known for cheap mass production.

Chinese wines get stamp of approval from Queen’s wine merchants

22 March 2013

  • The Queen’s vintner has become the first major UK retailer to give the Chinese wines a permanent place on its shelves. Berry Brothers & Rudd, which has a shop and cellars near St James’s Palace, will begin selling four Chinese wines this month and for the first time Chinese vintages will be showcased at one of the retailer’s exclusive tastings, at which masters of wine and senior wine writers gather to sample new arrivals.