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Chinese wine will be appearing on British dinner tables in 2020, experts predict

inews.co.uk by Katie Grant02/09/2019  

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Dinner party hosts hoping to impress their guests in the coming months might want to ensure they have a bottle of Chinese wine on the table. China may not immediately spring to mind as a wine-producing country but experts believe British drinkers will increasingly be reaching for bottles of Ningxia Cabernet Sauvignon and Xinjiang Rkatsiteli over the next year after the East Asian nation won multiple accolades at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards.

Following the competition, Decanter has produced a list of wine-drinking trends expected to emerge in 2020 and has name-checked China in its predictions. Judges at the world’s largest wine awards tasted close to 17,000 wines entered from 57 different countries this year, with Sarah Jane Evans, a master of wine and co-chair of the awards, tipping Chinese wine as “one to watch”.

China was the best performing country in Asia, beating India, Japan and Thailand, with 45 per cent of the 265 wines it entered winning an award.

In total, Chinese wines were awarded seven gold medals, 40 silver medals and 73 bronze medals. “China shows no signs of slowing down in its quest to produce award-winning wines for the global market. This is proven through the country’s success this year,” Ms Evans said.

Gold-medal winners

Among the gold-medal winners was Puchang Vineyard’s 2017 Rkatsiteli, produced in Turpan, Xinjiang. The judges’ tasting notes praised the white wine’s “resplendent citrus, white peach and honeysuckle nose” and described it as “splendidly textured”. 

Another gold-medal winner, a Cabernet Sauvignon from the Ningxia winery Ho-Lan Soul, was hailed for its “black fruit, sweet coconut, sweet oak spice, floral and forest fruit nose and palate”. 

Production sliding

In 2017, China was ranked as the world’s seventh largest wine producing country, recording a volume of 10.8 million hectolitres, only a little behind Argentina’s 11.8 hectolitres and Australia’s 13.7 hectolitres, data from the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) shows.

But wine production there has been declining over the past five years, plummeting to just 6.29m hectolitres in 2018, according to figures published by the industry magazine The Drinks Business.