Did you know that China is the 2nd largest grape-producing country in the world after Italy? Come to think of it, there’s lots of sun-dried sultanas from Xinjiang Province! 😉
And for those in Hong Kong, do you remember that red wines were served with ice-cubes – yes, with ice-cubes – maybe 15 years ago?? Cringe you may, but yes, you were once country-bumpkins too!
Anywaz, I was invited to a wine tasting event organised by an investment fund company. There were over a hundred wines and hard liquors to sample, but I was intrigued by a Chinese wine producer so decided to spend my liquor quota there. Grace Vineyard was founded in 1997 by a Chinese man, C.K Chan together with his French friend, Sylvain Janvier in Shanxi province. Their first vintage was produced in 2001. The wine emulates the French Bordeaux style, with the first vine cuttings imported from Bourdeaux, France.
Deep Blue is the company’s flagship wine. Bright, clear crimson-purple with 74% cabernet sauvignon, 21% merlot and 5% cabernet franc, the wine has clear expression of red and black currant fruits. It has been matured in French oaks – and maybe a bit tannic/oaky for some. Light and medium-bodied, and very quaffable.
Grace Vineyard with Torres, ‘Symphony Series’ is a white wine. It is a ‘beginner’s table-wine’. Aromatic with melons, peaches and light floral notes; it is refreshing with crisp acidity but ‘too flat’ for me… akin to a cheap Jacob Creek’s table wine…
Voted one of the Top Wines from China, Grace Vineyard’s Chairman’s Reserve is a lighter-styled Bourdeaux. It has clear bright medium ruby colour. The nose is predominately youthful plum fruits, red cherry, ripe blackcurrants with noticeable toasted oak scents. There is some herbaceous blackcurrant leaf combined with a medicinal aromas too. This wine is still developing – to be enjoyed in perhaps 4-5 years time?
Interested to know more? Check out the wine interview by ‘Nicely Made In China’ with Judy Leissner, the CEO of Grace Vineyard, daughter of the owner, here.