Chinese wines. What do you know about that?
Autumn has arrived and, with it, the first aches and pains related to the change of season, the rains and so on and so forth. The rain in these days puts a bit of melancholy in our hearts. Southeast Asia had spared us this unpleasant summer tradition and then gave us the coup de grace with the beginning of the falling leaves season. The nectar of Bacchus usually accompanies our dull, cold and a little melancholy days. It warms us up, cheers us up and creates the convivial atmosphere that we all look for when we feel a little out of sorts.
Those who have lived with their grandparents for a long time like who is writing you, will be able to remember the ancient proverbs that the elderly used to dispense as advice in front of a set table or between a game of cards and another: "Who does not drink in company either he is a thief or a spy ", or" Good wine makes good blood "and so on.
In fact, in these days, looking for new bottles and fragrances to taste, we came across numerous articles on Chinese wine. Yes, that's right, you got it! China has embarked on the path of viticulture and production of red and white wines.
As many experts (but also simple drinkers) know, to generate a good wine you need not only a quality grape variety but other important characteristics such as the soil and climate. The Ningxia area, not far from Xi'an, enjoys a continental climate, altitude, constant ventilation and sandy soil with rocky soil: these are the basis for a possible terroir.
Over the years, numerous experiments have been carried out including the "Sino-French demonstration vineyard", a project led by Frenchman Nicolas Billot-Grima and by Li Demei, associate professor of oenology at the University of Peking. The grapes chosen for the experiment were in particular: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Marsalean, Merlot, Viognier-Riesling (75% and 25% respectively) and Petit Manseng.
In fact, starting from 2016, thanks to the large number of French experts hired by the Chinese government, many European investors have made their way and, along the "wine route", have opened their wineries among which names such as Domaine Chandon China, Pernod Ricard Yang Yang International or Silver Heights Winery and Jade Vineyard.
Thanks to these producers, Ningxia can boast of having won awards in the most important wine competitions in the world.
This area in the past had already been influenced by Western culture as a fundamental stage of the silk road and, as in the past, the intervention of the French was a necessary step in order to aspire to an internal classification such as the Bordeaux one in 1855. The result appears to be well balanced and, according to the opinion of the French oenologist Michel Rolland, “these wines are pleasant, with structure and freshness; they have excellent longevity and great margins for evolution ".
From a marketing point of view, there is still a long way to go but China, with only 500 wineries, has such a number of vineyards to have the second extension in the world. Chinese wine, although it does not yet has international fame and the average consumer hardly knows its existence, has to fight mainly against the high production costs. The goal, however, is to focus on the growth and development of indigenous varieties to favor niche tourism.
At this point, therefore, dear "winelovers" friends, get ready for a new destination to visit in 2021!