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Grape Wall of China
Greetings all,
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
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To the Botmobile!

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.

Million Bottle Wine Club

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.

Grape White North

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.

Moisten Your Lung!

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.

Pure Discovery

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.

Tmall of America

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.

Wine job openings

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) Cheers, Jim Boyce
2 March 2017
Grape Wall covers China's wine scene. Winery visits, tastings, news, reviews, and interviews. Since 2007. Administered by Jim Boyce. Get the newsletter here.
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Q&A. Check Grape Wall's sessions with wine people inside and outside China.
Back issues. Check out the most recent ones.

Issue 32
Gerard Colin, Grape Wall Challenge 8 results, Canadian, California wines in China

Issue 31
Shanghai retail, Beijing sommeliers, Ningxia wine bureau, new wine bars,

Issue 30
Grace-ASC partner, La Cava closes, Gansu vineyards, charity and wine in China

Issue 29
Riesling wins Wine 100, East Meets West-Tiansai partner, Pudao turns seven

Issue 28
A four-year study of wine tastes, the rise of Yunnan, anatomy of a vintage in Shanxi

Issue 27
Grape Wall Challenge results, CruItaly's Rory Quirk, CHEERS wine
Events. When we put down our wine and organize stuff.
Grape Wall Challenge
Chinese consumers are judges in this annual blind tasting.
China Wine Tour
The tour covered four bars, a Chinese red and white wine at each. Details here.
North by Northwest
Wine experts, chefs and journalists try Chinese wine. See here for the results.

Ningxia vs Bordeaux
Five wines from each region were blind-tasted by ten experts. The results were a bit controversial. Details here
I started World Baijiu Day in 2015 to introduce people to this nation's top drink, a grain-based spirit with over 10 billion bottles sold per year. The event is back with dozens of events planned in London, New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Sydney and other cities. Details here.
A Final Word

Grape Wall has covered the China wine scene since 2007 and requires time and money for hosting services, travel costs, and more. Four ways to support it:

Tell those interested in China's wine scene about the newsletter and website.

Send local wine news and tips to grapewallofchina (at)

Buy wine books through the Grape Wall shop here.

Donate via PayPal or credit card here or Wechat to help cover site costs.

Thanks to those who have already helped Grape Wall.

Cheers, Jim Boyce

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