Red ice wine from China

© Bernd Müller  Pixabay

Wine has been grown in China for around 4,600 years. There are currently almost 900,000 hectares of vines. However, the largest part of around 800,000 hectares is used to produce raisins – only around 100,000 hectares are used for viticulture. On this area, around 15 million hectoliters of wine are produced in 11 wine-growing regions, – predominantly red varieties.

The rapidly developing viticulture in China has brought western winemakers and investors such as Lenz Moser, LVHM (Louis Vuiton, Hennessy-Moet) and Rothschild (Château Lafite) and with them know-howto the country , which has certainly contributed to further oenological development .
While the red Ao Yun, produced by LVHM in China, has a large buyer potential in Europe with its price of €300 per bottle, this is much smaller in China, as only 3% of the population, i.e. 40 million Chinese are wine drinkers. However, they definitely seem to enjoy drinking Canadian ice wine, as China is the largest export market for ice wine from Canada.

China’s growing preference for ice wine has led to a rise in the number of winemakers producing ice wine and sweet wine, respectively, in the country’s northernmost provinces of Heilongjiang and Jilin. Other Chinese wine-growing regions, including the northern province of Liaoning, already the region with the largest ice wine production in the country, are also benefiting from this.

More specifically, in the Hengren region, the Wunv Shan Milan Wine Company has been producing ice wine for around 60 years now. We tasted the winery’s 2019 Red Ice Wine, an ice wine that carries the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) Hengren.
Ice wine in this case must be made from grapes that are naturally frozen on the vine and, according to Chinese regulations, chaptalization is not permitted. The harvest must be done by hand, at temperatures of -8°C and below, the alcohol content must be between 9% and 14% and the sugar content must be over 150 grams per liter.

Wunv Shan Red Ice Wine 2019, Wunv Shan Milan Winery (Tasted Wines)
Brown-colored in the glass, round in the smell with dried plums and other dried fruits, clearly noticeable, lasting acidity that balances the sweetness well, plus delicate herbal notes that set the tone in the long finish. Medium complexity. Good wine.

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