Wine & Travel

Snooth User: katrily

Chinese wine

Posted by katrily, Dec 9, 2011.

Hello, a rather  funny topic I guess...


as I am writing an article about Chinese grape wine I would appreciate every comment on the subject. 

So- Chinese grape wine? How bizzarre it really is?





Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Dec 9, 2011.

I've only tasted a few, nothing of interest there but the Chinese are planting vast vineyards and some will be good. The problem is finding the irght soil and climate for any particuarl grape isn't as easy as it sounds.

They'll get some things right, screw other things up, and then they have to start making the wines, which is another can or worms.

Short answer, in 10 years we'll have some good Chinese wine to drink, in 20 years they might be great.

Reply by dmcker, Dec 10, 2011.

Wouldn't be overly confident in that direction, Greg. Japanese are excellent agriculturalists, and have not gotten wine right over a much greater period, regardless of how Suntory may want to spin it. Problems with the environment, and with the marketplace, amongst others. Can imagine equally great problems with China.

Will be very surprised if anything 'great' ensues from there in my lifetime. A lot of time and work have gone into current results from the States, Oz, Chile and South Africa, for example. How much 'great' wine comes from states other than CA, OR and WA? And the societies in my list above have all the cultural, technological and marketplace traditions of Europe behind them. Hard for China to import only the technological and get similar results, methinks....

Reply by Jay LL, Dec 10, 2011.

I have had Chinese wine on numerous occasions in the country, usually at some banquet or another. Most is average at best, and I would agree that the lack of serious vinicultural legacy makes it hard to expect any major breakthrough in the future. The only label (winery) I recall that is of predictable quality is "Great Wall" -- they make white and red.  

Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Dec 15, 2011.

Here's some news on the matter.

Reply by dmcker, Dec 15, 2011.

... with a grain of salt (meaning would like to know the details of the methodology, etc., in this case).

So Greg, you believe everything you read in the newspaper (especially the headlines)?  ;-)

Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Dec 15, 2011.

Only if I write it!

point is, big investments are going, lots of resources, particualrly intellectual resources are being brought to bear in China. I expect we'll see pretty succsful wines emerge quickly from all of this investment.

Let us not forget, arguably the greatest Cabernet Vineyard in California, namely To kalon, was planted by gut feeling in 1868. People get lucky sometimes and applying decades of experience to the process of building a wine industy will make it easier to get lucky,

Now about that article, the realitvely inexpensive wine for the ;Lafit Vineyard" that this Chinese wine bested may very well have been Lafite Reservee, which we can comfortably say is remarkably ordinary in all repsects except the label so this 'win' may not mean much, yet.

Reply by dmcker, Dec 15, 2011.

The level of bottle from Bordeaux (the pricing of the bottles, esp. vis a vis tariff burdens on imports) is only one of the questions popping to mind. That article raises far more than answers. I view it as nothing more than a not-so-sophisticated PR exercise. The attempted connection to the judgment of Paris is more than just a stretch.

Obviously the French are paying close attention to China. Diversifying markets, taking advantage of culturally-based windfalls surrounding branded items, etc. are all focii for their commercial and political attention. Would love to be a fly on the wall in some of the backrooms of Quai d'Orsay and Bordeaux.

Nonetheless, what happened in California back in '67 was after well more than a century of viniculture and with pretty much transparent, enlightened, safe markets and cultural coolness factors that reached down to grassroots (descended from European cultures), as evidenced several decades later even by the traffic on sites like Snooth. There are very few of those advantages in China. Plus there's the wildcard that economic/political/social hardtimes are not too far off the horizon according to several intelligent observers.

Something will happen there, but it's hard to believe that 'great' wines will appear, other than very spottily, non-broadspread or -representatively, and maybe even as flukes. I'm not from Missouri, but obviously remain very skeptical....

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