Chinese Wine Tasting Tour
China's wine making can be traced back to 2000 years ago. Zhang Qian, who led expeditions to the western territories (Xinjiang and central Asia), witnessed the prosperous wine making there: "Rich people's family housed more than 200 tons of wine. The good ones lasted dozens of years. People drink wine just like horses eat alfalfa."
The wine remained a valued commodity until the Tang Dynasty, when the plants were re-introduced and wine drinking reached a climax. Emperors and their civil servants all regarded wine drinking as a vogue. The production was at full steam during the Mongol ruling time - wine was adopted as the only liquor for important royal rituals. Vineyards were set up in Taiyuan and Nanjing. Wine storage cells were put up in the royal palace with strict technical procedures to tell the good ones from the bad.
With rise of rice liquor, wine got replaced as the preferred wine. Rice liquor was easier to prepare, store and age. Its higher alcohol content was perfect for the cold winters in central and northern China.
In 1892 Changyu Winery was set up in Yantai with modern technologies and oak casks from Europe. This is followed by other foreign companies with wineries in Qingdao, Beijing, Changbaishan and other areas.
Domestic disturbances followed and wine production again was disrupted for half a century before it picked up. Now with the ever increasing living standards of people, wine, a luxury and fashion in the Tang Dynasty, is coming back.
Visits to the major wineries in China: Chateau Junding (Yantai), Jade Valley Vineyard (Xi'an), Silver Height (Yinchuan), Qingxue Vineyard (Yinchuan), and Grace Vineyard (Taiyuan).
Top China Wine Tour Destinations
Wine Tour: Chateau Junding, going for the top end luxury wine. Technologies from Italy and France. The milestone: its awards received in 2010 at Vinalies.
Wine Tour: Changyu Winery. The earliest modern wine making in Chinese history.
Yantai City Tour: Penglai Pavilion - built in 1061, one of the four most famous Pavilions in China, Long Island or Temple Archipelagos, visit the unique islands including the beacon tower built by the English in 1882 and the earlier Sea Goddess Temple built in 1122).
Wine Tour: Silver Height Vineyard. Jancis Robinson, in her article published in Financial Times in April 2010, rated this vineyard as a rising star in China. It is managed by Ms Yuan Gao, who has acquired the degree of National Wine Maker in France.
Wine Tour: Helan Qingxue Vineyard. The 2009 Cabernet won the special award in Decanter world competition in 2011.
Tour: The Royal Tombs of the Western Xia Dynasty emperors.
Sample China Wine Tour
- Explore 6 of the top wineries in China: Chateau Junding, Changyu Winery, Jade Valley Winery, Silver Heights Winery, Helan Qing Xue Vineyard, Grace Vineyard
- Visit the highlights of any China tour, including the majesftic Forbidden City and Terracotta Army.
- Discover both the natural landscape and cultural heritage of China.