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The Ladies Of Silver Heights Honoring Women’S Day

Silver Heights by 19/03/2020  

As the “Women’s Day” celebration arrives annually on March 8th, we wanted to share some insights about the women of Silver Heights. 

Todaywe want you to get to know a few of the other important ladies who represent the heart and soul of Silver Heights.

 Their ongoing contribution of skill, creativity and inspiration keeps the winery on-course everyday.

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Mother of Emma

What is your favorite Silver Heights wine? And what’s your preferred time/place/way to enjoy this wine?

Mother of Emma: I love Family Reserve the best because family is very important for me. Emma’s father started building the winery in his 60s, and at that  time we spent all our savings on the winery to build our family business. This is why this wine means a lot to me.When all the family members are gathered together drinking it, I feel very blessed. 

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At the winery you take care of the animals and gardens of the property, can you share what is your favourite aspects of working on the property?

Mother of Emma: What I love most is taking care of the flowers and vegetables. Seeing all the flowers in the garden grown by myself is quite pleasing and eating vegetables from my own garden is also quite satisfactory. 

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What kinds of flowers or other plants do your organize in the garden?

Mother of Emma:I planted mint, parsley, Agastache Rugosus, rainbow pepper,  poppy flower, cockscomb, henna, lavender , lotus, herba kalimeridis, daisy and some 20 different types of plants and flowers.

In spring and summer, the garden is very beautiful with all kinds of flowers.

I remember at the time, we planted the flowers during a stormy morning, but everyone was so invested in their activities and hard work, we did not have lunch until 1pm when all was finished in the garden.

The garden is much loved by our visitors and guests. It’s a favourite spot for tasting wines. I remember having a collection of fantastic writers come to our winery in 2014, when a group from Decanter magazine came through to better understand our vineyards and winery procedures. 

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Which animals do you take care of?

Mother of Emma: Over the years, I have grown fond of Little Emma’s blue cat,sheep and pony , remember the kitten was sick and it took a while to recover.I told Little Emma that if we decided to have pets and animals, we will have to care for them, otherwise these little animals will feel sad and hurt as well. 

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What is your favorite season and why? 

Mother of Emma:My favourite season is spring. That’s when everything comes back to life, it’s vibrant and hopeful, and heralds a great beginning for the rest of the year. 

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Every year, you oversee the harvest dinner, can you describe what do you usually prepare for this celebration?

Mother of Emma: I usually prepare some cold dishes such as bean sprouts salad or cucumber salad. Vegetables are actually my speciality. 

To celebrate “Women’s Day”, can you share what’s the best way for women to stay healthy and happy? What’s your advice?

Mother of Emma: I exercise regularly including walking, tai chi and The Baduanjin qigong (a form of Qigong).Keep up your health ,Keep your spirits high and take good care of your family and this is a source of happiness as well.

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Sister of  Emma

What is your favorite Silver Heights wine? And what’s your preferred time/place/way to enjoy this wine?

Sister Gao Yan: I love The Summit! In the early days of the winery, I would enjoy pairing it with Ningxia local dishes to try to expand local market and expand people’s horizons, little by little. We gradually managed to win over some wine lovers,and this is something quite sentimental for me.

Every time when we have friends and guests coming over to the winery, I would always use this wine to treat them. 

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At the winery you manage the day-to-day administration, operations, and accounting for the winery. How has your work evolved from the early days till now?

Sister Gao Yan:  I am like a fire fighter, and I will go wherever I am needed. At the beginning, I did some work on everything. Now most of my responsibilities lie on administration and management, coordinating our cash flow, and overseeing provincial sales. 

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What is your favorite time of the year in Ningxia, and what is happening at the winery then?

Sister Gao Yan: What I remember back in July 2013, the winery’s survival was threatened to be relocated, because a local developer wanted to purchase the land. The French ambassador to China visited our winery. 

It was a word from little Emma that changed that.

And when Little Emma was walking him around the vineyards she pleaded with the ambassador, “this won’t be our home anymore”. After learning about the story behind it, the ambassador wrote a letter to the local government, supporting our fight to keep the winery intact. 

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Can youshare some insights about your family’s tradition for celebrating the harvest?

Sister Gao Yan:Every time during harvest, the family comes together to pick grapes in the morning, and then do selection pressing creating a long days work. 

Finally, in the evening seated outdoors under the stars and in the vines, everyone gathers for a large feast with barbequed meats, mom’s garden selection of salads and vegetables, and so many wines. 

It’s a joyous time finished with an night of enchantment.

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Can you share some favorite family recipes for cooking Ningxia cuisine?

Sister Gao Yan: What I love most is braised duck with red wine and eggs. This is a dish that my father taught me and it goes so well with Silver Heights’ red wines. Many people will mention to me, even after 10 years, how much they still remember and miss this dish. 

I also love roasted lamb, which is a local specialty and pairs perfectly with our red wines. 

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Every year, many people come to Ningxia to experience this special region and learn about the wine culture. What was one of the more exciting occasions for hosting / entertaining visitors at the winery?

Sister Gao Yan:Last harvest in autumn, when the sun is setting against the Helan Mountains. Everyone gathered together for a meal, drinking wine and making conversation. This is the most intoxicating ambiance, surrounded by beauty with the air filled with laughter. 

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To celebrate “Women’s Day”, can you share what’s the best way for women to stay healthy and happy? What’s your advice?

Sister Gao Yan: For every woman, happiness lies in our own hands. 

First, we have to be financially independent and can survive on our own. We should also be able to work freely and engage people or make decisions on our own terms. Finally, it’s essential to always keep your focus on the family and its future. When the family is happy, the rest will always come together, as well. 

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Little Emma

Can you describe your first wine tasting experience?  What is your favorite Silver Heights wine?

Little Emma: When I first tasted wine I was 7 years old. At the time I did not know anything about wine tasting and my father used to hold my hand and would teach me how to swirl the glass and taste.

 I would gently touch the glass with my lips, then smell the aromas, and taste the acidity, fruitiness and tannins in the wine.My favourites are the Family Reserve’s Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. 

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When you are in the vineyards at the winery, what is most memorable to you (since you grew up in the winery, surrounded by a strong wine culture and the vines.) Is there an interesting or favourite experience you would like to share?

Little Emma: What I remember and love the most is the little animals at the winery. My grandfather knows that I love animals and to keep me visiting with excitement he bought three ponies ,and many other small animals for me. I watched as they grew old and remember many happy times together. 

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As you finish your studies in high school, prepare for university, what was the major you want to study in university? What are your hobbies? Would you like to follow in your mother’s footsteps to take over the family business?

Little Emma: I want to learn  marketing as well as Oenology and recommend our wines to European countries. Meanwhile, I have some creative passion for painting and design.

At first I didn’t think about pursuing the family business. But as I’ve seen my mom travelling around the world to sharing her wines, and getting know so many different cultures, I am starting to get very interested, too. I would love to follow in my mom’s footsteps and support our family’s business. So as I pursue my studies in France, 

I will be exploring ways to develop my marketing and communications skills and gain the necessary experience. 

As a representative of the next generation of the Women at Silver Heights, what do you think will be important skills/ideas you want to develop or contribute for the winery’s future?

Little Emma: I want to spread our Chinese culture to the whole world through wine. 

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"Silver heights," behind this rising star at the eastern 

foot of the helanmountains in ningxia,

A warrior and three generations of women with traditional virtues.

"Silver heights" into the blood of the love of life, kind plain, brave and tough,The pursuit of perfection is the spirit passed down from generation to generation in this family.It is silent and radiant,

With each passing generation, it grows deeper and more powerful,with an immortal energy. That's the power of the family!

We can be sure this charming family will go far...