Premium Wines from China Get High Praise During U.S. Debut in Las Vegas | PRLog

LAS VEGAS -- China Fine Wines, LLC (U.S. offices in Dallas), along with broker M*E Fine Wines, debuted the 2011 vintage of Dragon’s Hollow Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon on July 30th at the Palazzo Las Vegas Hotel to an exclusive invitation-only audience. They also showed Jai Bei Lan and Silver Heights vintages for the first time in the U.S.

Brand-new 2011 bottlings of Dragon’s Hollow have been much anticipated in the United States. Dragon’s Hollow was the first premium wine from China sold in the U.S. It had been available in select American markets for a few years but sold out due to steady demand.

 Jia Bei Lan burst onto the international wine scene when its 2009 Cabernet blend won the Red Bordeaux International Trophy at the prestigious Decanter World Wine Awards. It was the first time a Chinese wine ever took Decanter Magazine’s top honors.

High-quality Silver Heights wines are produced in very limited quantities and have become one of China’s most sought-after varietals.

Among the tasters at the Las Vegas event were two Master Sommeliers and a Master of Wine, all of whom had praise for the wines. Award-winning author Jeannie Cho Lee MW, the first Asian Master of Wine in the world, enjoyed the Dragon’s Hollow Chardonnay and was impressed with all three red wines, later sharing her praise with her Twitter followers. The first three words from Robert Smith MS when he tasted the Dragon’s Hollow wines were, “Fantastic, fantastic, fantastic!” Ira Harmon MS was equally impressed and noted the vast improvement over Chinese wines he had tasted previously.

 At the event, David Henderson, owner of China Fine Wines and Dragon’s Hollow, gave guests a guided tour through China’s Ningxia region that included an in-depth look at “the wines everyone in the wine world is suddenly curious about,” he explained. “It’s exciting to realize how far the wines have come in such a short time after starting in what was basically virgin area,” he said. Henderson, often called the “Godfather of Wine” in China, told of planting the first vineyards there in 19973, likening it to the first plantings of Robert Mondavi in Napa, California, in the Sixties. Today there are more than 50 wineries in Ningxia.

 Paul R. Ellis of M*E Fine Wines is excited about the prospects for Chinese wines in the U.S. and worldwide: “From the brand-new packaging to the additional age of the vines, more experience of the winemakers, and excellent soil and climate conditions, it’s obvious that the wines will continue improving.”

Ellis’ partner Joe Muscaglione is equally optimistic. On whether there is a place for Chinese wine in the international scene, he says: “Why not China? China is a huge country with a long history of winemaking. Not that long ago, there were no wines from Argentina, South Africa or Australia in most restaurants outside of their own country.”

 When asked if the wines are being sold primarily to Chinese restaurants, Muscaglione rejected the idea of limiting their distribution: “Imagine if only Argentinian restaurants carried Argentinian wines? Wines that were once ‘oddities’ now have widespread availability—and certainly not just in restaurants connected to their nationalities.”

 Dragon’s Hollow wines are available in fine restaurants in Las Vegas, New York City, New Jersey, Connecticut, Washington, D.C. as well as in Texas, Florida and California.

 China Fine Wines is the American-owned producer of the Dragon’s Hollow® line of wines—premium varietal-correct wines produced in China for international distribution. Dragon’s Hollow offers a Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir made in facilities with ISO 9001 and 14001 quality certifications. At present, a Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are available in the U.S., imported by MHW Ltd. in Manhasset, NY.  The vineyard and winery are located in the Helan Shan Mountain Appellation  in Ningxia, China. Known for low humidity, strong westerly winds and intense sunshine, Ningxia is situated at the same latitude as the famed wine-producing regions of Napa, California. China Fine Wines’ portfolio in the U.S. includes award-winning Jia Bei Lan wines and acclaimed Silver Heights vintages from neighboring producers in Ningxia. China Fine Wines is 90% owned by David E. Henderson along with an investment group (10%). 

David Henderson is the president and founder of China Fine Wines, LLC. He is also the founder of Montrose Food & Wine, a multi-million-dollar Chinese wine importer carrying over 700 wines from 16 countries. Henderson is widely credited with fathering the imported wine market in China. He imported the first wines into China and has over 30 years of experience in China’s consumables market, 10 of them producing wine. David was instrumental in planting one of the first vineyard in Ningxia and imported the very first premium wines from China into the United States. Dragon’s Hollow wines are now being distributed throughout the U.S. and Canada.

M*E Fine Wines is a Las Vegas-based wine broker specializing in small boutique wines from around the world. M*E is also known for being wine educators and lecturers as well as consultants and brand developers for beer, wine and spirit makers. The firm has helped place Dragon’s Hollow wine on more than 50 premises in Las Vegas.

The former wine director for MGM Grand Resort, Charlie Palmer Steak House and AquaKnox Restaurant in Las Vegas, Paul R. Ellis has also served as the Southwest Regional Manager for Champagne Roederer/Cristal.

Ellis spent a good portion of his career educating people on wine. In Las Vegas, he was a wine instructor at Le Cordon Bleu, The Art Institute, and the College of Southern Nevada (CSN). Earlier, Ellis spent a dozen years as a wine instructor at UCLA, where he helped develop the wine certification course. At the same time, he served as consultant to Christie’s Auction House in Beverly Hills, Calif. During this time he topped three separate Sommelier competitions. He’s also served as wine director at the Claremont Resort in Berkeley, California and the Fairmont Hotel in Philadelphia, Pa.

As one of the first beverage directors for Babbo NYC, Muscaglione developed one of the country’s best Italian wine lists. He was also the original beverage director at TAO Las Vegas, developing and overseeing a wine program renowned both for its depth and groundbreaking volume. More recently, Muscaglione served as Nevada State Sales and Marketing Manager for the Global Beer Network. (M*E Fine Wines continues to represent beers from the Global Beer Network.)

 Muscaglione also served as marketing and training consultant for premier Italian importers Winebow, Vinifera and Muscaglione/Templar wines and as founder of 





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