It's one of those crazy busy weeks with just enough time to squeeze out a Grape Wall Newsletter. See below for posts about The Million Bottle Wine Club, the new U.S. Tmall store, an upcoming Pure Discovery tour, the Ningxia 'Botmobile', Shanghai retail insights from Alberto Fernandez and Campbell Thompson, and more.
As always, please pass this newsletter to others who might like it!
Cheers, Jim Boyce
While certain superheroes have a Batmobile, the forces for boosting wine quality in Ningxia possess their own cool wheels, what we might call a Botmobile. And it's going into action as the two-year Ningxia Winemakers Challenge, with 48 winemakers from 18 nations, races toward the finish line.
It’s time for the annual roll call of Million Bottle Wine Club members. The list includes 17 nations, including one newcomer, that sent at least a million bottles of still wine through China Customs in 2016. I've also updated the list of Million Dollar Wine Club members that has now grown to 22 members.
I recently posted about Clear Lake bringing a new wave of Canadian wine to China. The company has since held its launch party and I talked to Canadian Emilie Steckenborn, who led the tasting in Shanghai, about the wines served and the Canadian trade in general.
A sparkling wine for a Communist icon. A blend of Cabernet and cabaret. Labels that give a playful twist to Penfolds, that unite DRC and Lafite, that lovingly call a wine a “sweet what!?” I've updated the list of quirky and dodgy labels spotted in China.
As part of the ongoing Shanghai retail series, I talk to Alberto Fernandez of Torres China / Everwines about the city's tough wine shop scene, his plans for expansion and consumer preferences.
And in yet another post, I talk to Campbell Thompson of The Wine Republic, about cool climate labels, sommeliers and how Shanghai differs from other cities.
Get ready, Chengdu, Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, because you are part of a New Zealand “road show” this year that, not surprisingly, features plenty of wine.
Shanghai-based distributor American Wine Merchants has announced it is teaming with state promotion groups in California, Oregon, Washington and New York, with support from the USDA, to open a flagship U.S. wine Tmall store.
Beijing-based DIVA China, one of 15 worldwide offices in the Bordeaux-based DIVA network that links producers with distributors and retailers, is looking for sales and marketing people..
Note: The content of this newsletter is general information. I make no guarantee as to its completeness or accuracy. Use it at your own risk. In other words, I try hard to be accurate, but mistakes can happen, so reader beware! Also, I'm not a fan of spam and aim to send this newsletter only to people who signed up at Grape Wall blog or agreed by email or in person to receive it. If you did not request it, but are receiving it, something has gone awry. You can unsubscribe at the bottom or let me know at grapewallofchina (at) gmail.com. Cheers, Jim Boyce