I (Britt) visited Ningxia, one of China’s new wine regions, at the end of August. Ningxia is about a two hours’ flight west of Beijing, on the border to the Gobi Desert and Mongolia. There are now around 40,000 hectares, mostly planted in the last 10 years. Ambitions are high. Already they are starting to create a classification of the wine estates, inspired by the Bordeaux classification 1855.
The climate is dry and extremely continental. The summers are hot and the winters are really cold, so cold that the vines must be totally covered with soil to survive. A procedure, according to Frenchman Thierry Courtade at the Silver Heights vineyard, probably means that the vines will not live longer than around 20 years. Perhaps a problem for a wine region that has Bordeaux as its role model. On the other hand, some research shows that the age of the vines is not that important. You will hear more about the Ningxia wines on BKWine Magazine.
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