Tag Archives: wine

Chinese Wine Stuns Wine World

China not only drinks the finest red wines, it can now claim to produce them, too. He Lan Qing Xue‘s Jia Bei Lan Cabernet 2009 was named the best Red Bordeaux Varietal over £10 at the Decanter World Wine Awards in London. It beat out Bordeaux varietals from Argentina, Australia, the U.S. and Bordeaux itself to take the International Trophy.

He Lan Qing Xue‘s award-wining Jia Bei Lan Cabernet 2009The winning vintage, the first Chinese wine to win an international award of such distinction, is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabinet Gernicht made in Ningxia, where the extremes of weather require the vines to be buried during the winter months as temperatures can fall to -25℃. The vineyard’s owner, Zhang Jing, and her consultant winemaker, Li Demei, produce only 20,000 bottles of the wine a year. It is available only in Ningxia and at one outlet in each of Beijing and Shanghai — for now.

The winning vintage will be a boost for Ningxia’s efforts to establish itself as China’s foremost winemaking region, 30 years after the first vines were planted there. The province now has 33,300 hectares of vineyards. In May, the international luxury group LVMH announced a joint venture for its Moët Hennessy division to produce sparkling wine in the remote north-western province, where Pernod Ricard already has a presence.

Update: Judges commended He Lan Qing Xue’s Jia Bei Lan  for:

Big, quite leafy black fruit with exciting minty perfume. Medium-bodied, supple, graceful and ripe but not flashy – has some Bordelais restraint. Excellent length and four square tannins – could age for 5-6 years.

So now you know what you are missing.


Filed under Agriculture

China To Get Its First Wine Investment Fund

Ever since the London International Vintners Exchange, more familiarly known as Liv-Ex, got up and running in 1999, wine investment funds have grown in popularity. Now China, as befits a nation whose status-obsessed wealthy are suitably obsessed with buying fine wine, is to get its own, the Financial Times reports. The Dinghong Fund, also known as the DeRouge Fund, plans to raise 1 billion yuan ($156 million) from investors that it will invest in Bordeaux and Burgundy vintages. Minimum initial investment will be for 1 million yuan locked in for five years. (Update: Three-fifths of the fund will be invested in wine and the remaining two-fifths in wine futures; the fund is aiming for a return of 15%.) The fund is co-founded by Ling Zhijun, a Shanghai-based asset manager and oenophile.

Another sign of a Bordeaux bubble?

Footnote: Chinese investors have been active participants in international fine wine investment funds and in funds that invest in a range of investment-grade collectibles from art, to diamonds and rare musical instruments. China Daily recently wrote about Chinese millionaires’ interest in these so-called passion funds. With buyers from China already driving prices at art and fine-wine auctions, this Bystander expects a bull market for investment funds specializing in wine and art.


Filed under Markets