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Chinese wine pioneer Gérard Colin dies

decanter.com by Yohan Castaing15/02/2017  

Winemaker Gérard Colin, an early pioneer for Chinese wine, died at the age of 75, on 9th February.

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Gérard Colin Credit: Zhao Ruiyue / China Daily

Gérard Colin studied oenology at the University of Bordeaux  and worked for both Chateau Teyssier in St-émilion and Chateau Clarke in Listrac, before becoming a consultant and winemaker.

During his first visit to China in the early 1990s he met CK Chan, the owner of Grace Vineyards, in the Shanxi province.

Colin went on to be appointed as the consultant of Grace Vineyards in 2001 where he shared his wine knowledge and experience from time in Bordeaux.

He grew Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, applied traditional techniques from Bordeaux and Grace Vineyard went on to be recognised for its high standards of quality.

He was a pioneer of fine wine in China and one of the first winemakers to acquire quality awards for a Chinese wine.

Alberto Fernandez of Torres, the first major distributor to handle Grace, spoke of the warmth of Colin during his initial visit: ‘Gerard Colin received me with a big hug.’

In 2006, Domaines Barons de Rothschild, Lafite, decided to create a Chinese vineyard and hired Gérard Colin as director of the DBR Citic Wine Estate.

From choosing the region, the terroir and the grapes, Gérard Colin helped create from scratch Lafite’s wine interests in China.

After leaving the DBR Citic Wine Estate, he started a vineyard in the province of Xinjiang along the silk route, and since 2014 had been working on a wine tourism project in the province of Shandong.