I’ve seen this article this morning from Off Licence News. Long and short of it is that they’ve interviewed the head buyer for Conviviality Brands and he’s said that Brexit issues and uncertainty is going to open the door for wines from other parts of the world, including China. As much as I disagree with his logic, I do agree that we’re going to be seeing more wine from China on the shelves very soon!
As soon as people in China got the bug for wine, it was only a matter of time before they became large scale wine producers. China’s such a vast country that somewhere in the country you’re looking at some good soils and great vine growing aspects and all that. To start with it can be very hit and miss, but modern technology cuts down on the trial and area, and now regions such as Xinjiang and Ningxia are producing stunners.
From a people point of view, the Chinese way is get the right people in the right role early doors. I studied with Chinese students during my Masters course, and these kids responded better than I’d ever seen to book learning and well structured teaching. So what have they done with the wine? Hired in a group of top flying winemakers to teach them how to do it and before you know it they’re right up there themselves. Smart cookies!
One slight issue is how to get hold of it. China is notorious for having dreadful and confusing import/export rules. I remember trying to send a pallet of Bordeaux wines to a mate in Nanning once. We had to scrap it as there was no way of doing it above board. I got told, and this was by a customs officer, to “send it to Vietnam and smuggle it in, it’s what everyone else does!”. Hmmmm, not helpful. Let’s just hope getting the stuff out the country is easier!
To my shame I’ve still not tried as much Chinese wine as I’d like, so if anyone has any good tips then let me know and I’ll get stuck in.