China’s Ningxia faces shortage of quality white wine grapes

High quality white wine grapes are in short supply in Ningxia and the coming 2014 harvest is not expected to improve the situation significantly.

As Ningxia growers prepare for the 2014 white grape harvest, Pernod Ricard’s Domaine Helan Mountain has already decided that it won’t make a Special Reserve Chardonnay from this year’s crop. It plans to produce an entry-level blend of Chardonnay and Welschriesling instead, said the estate’s head of viticulture, Brett Richardson. The 2011 vintage of the Special Reserve Chardonnay won a bronze medal in the 2014 Decanter World Wine Awards.
While some might attribute the decision to market trends, with Chinese government austerity measures curbing consumption of high-end wines, Richardson said the estate faces supply problems for white grapes. Many wineries in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region in western China buy at least a proportion of their grapes from outside growers.
Richardson said he expects Domaine Helan more

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