Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Grace in Shanxi
 December 11 2011, 17:10

Click For Large ViewI was greeted at Grace Winery in Dong Jia by Lee Yean Yean. Albeit in title only the technical director, he is the gentleman who makes things happen in the extended absence of owner Judy Leissner and 'winemaker' Ken Murchison. This estate had a tough go in the beginning as their first wines were released, but it would appear that they are now one of the very few Chinese wineries with any measure of pedigree. That said, it was - is - a steep learning curve. They have grubbed up almost fifty hectares here in Taigu, will probably abandon the vineyards that they planted in both Ding Xiang and Xi'An and are now, like others, betting on Ningxia. With that, they may have a point, but it shows vividly how much wild west mentality is still involved in decisions of where to plant what. It apparently rains to much here in Shanxi to make fine wines on a regular basis. That, though, is not stopping the local government from promoting the region as perhaps the next Napa Valley in the hopes of having numerous other wealthy businessmen invest in wineries. Although 2010 is not considered to be quite as good as 2008 or 2006, my feeling is that the fruit is becoming more refined and purer, at least at the top end that we tasted from barrel. The surprise? In 2009 they began making a sparkling wine from Chardonnay. That first vintage will only be released in two years, but the sample we tasted 'à la volée' showed promise. Comments


Want to Comment ?
Name (required)   
Email (required, but will not be published)      



Copyright©, 2011 |All Rights Reserved
Developed & Designed by Sadilak SoftNet