New Emissary

China Uncorking

China’s wine scene continues to explode with new happenings at home and abroad.

It’s really starting to happen. I’ve written before on the rise of China as a force in the global wine market, and last week, its wine made an entrance into one of the world’s most acclaimed industry events in France, according to the AFP.

China submitted 8 wines at the 2-day event, held in the village of Bourg near the esteemed wine region of Bordeaux, where experts blind-tasted 4,435 wines from 33 countries. The results won’t be announced until the end of the month, but I’ll be waiting with bated breath to see what happens.

Meanwhile, to add to the wine hype that’s taking hold around the nation, early this month a wine museum opened in the country’s Qingdao city, in Shandong Province. It seems an appropriate place to have such a venue—Qingdao was recently called one of China’s top ten liveable cities by CCTV, which pointed out that it’s the area’s fresh air that often impresses visitors. And according to the official Xinhua News Agency, the new wine museum is the largest of its sort in the country with notable perks that include free tastings of wine from 17 countries and an in-house ‘wine bank’ where visitors can actually store their own selections.

On another note, for international winemakers looking to jump aboard the China wine train that’s steaming full-force ahead, a recent piece in Forbes magazine, ‘How to Start a Wine Business in China,’ profiles experienced US winemaker David Duckhorn, who transitioned successfully into China from California’s esteemed Napa Valley and is now heading a wine import business in Shanghai.

The optimistic Duckhorn’s tips for thriving in the China market includes having patience in building valuable long-term relationships, marketing the ‘feel’ and ‘culture’ of wines along with things like taste and quality and reminding consumers that wine can be a healthy alternative to other alcoholic beverages.