Made in China

Posted by The Wine Whore |

While I was in Bordeaux, I was surprised to hear so much about the Chinese. No, we weren't discussing wontons and eggrolls although, oddly enough, the Chinese food in Bordeaux is about three grades below boric acid in terms of food quality and taste. Instead, we were discussing the market for Bordeaux wine. Believe it or not, the Chinese have actually been buying up more Bordeaux wine than any other country.

That's why I wasn't surprised when I stumbled across this post on CellarBlog talking about how a winery is opening in Hong Kong. Just now releasing its first vintage, the 8th Estate Winery is the first winery ever to open its doors in Hong Kong. While the novelty of a winery in Hong Kong may sound attractive, I have a hard time believing that they will be able to make anything of substance or value considering the fact that they source their grapes from far away places such as Washington, and Italy. Besides, shouldn't a winery make wine from the land around it? Does it make sense to be make wine from these grapes in Hong Kong?

Lead jokes aside, has anyone tried a Chinese Bordeaux style blend?

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Frank said...

I had my first experience with wine made in China in February during a trip to Hong Kong. I found the HK wine community 'alive' with young wine connoisseurs who were avid drinkers of French wine, but very curious about 'new world' American wines. Of course I took every opportunity to shill for the American wine industry, in particular wines from right here in Virginia.
I tasted a handful of wines made in China, namely Dynasty and Grace Vineyards, that were close to undrinkable. I will concede that I believe these two brands were at the low-end of China wines that happened to be available at the hotel I was staying in HK. I attended a tasting at Vinoteca HK while I was there and had the chance to sample about a dozen or so wines from the mainland - several showed promise.

No doubt, given the attention currently being given to that marketplace, they will certainly produce some notable wines in the years to come (many years from now I suspect).

(avert your eyes, shameless plug coming...) I wrote a few thoughts on my trip to Hong Kong several months ago, that can me found:
1.) Wines From China
2. ) China Wine Ramblings

I've never heard of 8th Estate, but will be back in HK next January or February as well, and will be sure to check them out.

The Wine Whore said...

While I had heard that the Chinese were into Bordeaux, I had no idea they were making so much wine. I actually really want to go to Hong Kong. Growing up I had a good friend from HK and I would always ask him about the city and what it was like being a kid there. This is definitely one place I need to visit while I am on this earth.

Now, as far as their wine goes, it sounds like they could use some help. If you (or anyone else) try a bottle of wine from this new HK winery, please let me know what you think... I am very curious to hear more about it.

Shameless plugs are always welcome as long as they contribute to the conversation or add insight. Thank you for sharing your links and insight into this far away wine culture.


Corkdork said...

I have had (and, indeed, still have 2 bottles of) a very nice Chinese unoaked chardonnay -- Dragon's Hollow Chard 2006. It's from the Eastern foot of Han Le Mountain. A bit straightforward, but it's nice and crisp, a very enjoyable wine really (especially considering how unusual the appellation is). Dragon's Hollow also makes a Cabernet, but I didn't get a chance to try it.

I got it at Epcot's food and wine festival, but you can get it through Broadbent Selections (broadbent-wines.com) or special-order through a retailer that works with Opici (pretty much anyone of any reasonable size in Florida -- if they have Carpineto, Elderton, or Mulderbosch wines, they work with Opici).

The Wine Whore said...

No kidding!

Think I could find it at Total Wine?

The Wine Whore said...

Just got this link messaged to me on FB: http://www.chinawinetours.com/

Frank said...

Will definitely let you know if I try the HK during my next trip. I appreciate the info from Corkdork above - I didn't realize there was any wine here in the States from China. (I gotta get out more...)

The Wine Whore said...

First of all, I am jealous that you are going to be in HK... secondly, I can't wait to hear about your trip! Make sure to keep spreading the word over there about VA and US wine.

Corkdork's info was news to me too! I'll have to take a trip over to Total Wine and see if they've got any.


Corkdork said...

The folks at Total could probably order it for you, but it's not an item in inventory. It'd be a special order, presuming Opici had some to sell them to sell you.

The Wine Whore said...

Bummer... I'll have to revert my search over to the internet instead! :)


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