Legendary wine critic Robert Parker visited Beijing for the first time last month and blogger Jim Boyce attended the seven-wine tasting with seven-course dinner, held on the Great Wall at Badaling. Boyce received a blogger’s discount, paying 10,000 RMB for the opportunity.
The seven featured wines came from a handful of countries, but none of those were China. If the wine experts at Berry Bros. & Rudd, the 310-year-old British wine merchant, are right, the next time Parker dines on the Great Wall, a few bottles might be Chinese.
According to their “Future of Wine” report:
Already the world’s sixth largest wine producer and number four in terms of area under vine, China, Berrys predicts, will be the world’s leading producer of volume wine by 2058.
Berrys believes Cabernets and Chardonnays of real promise will be made. With the right soil, low labour costs and soaring domestic demand, China is set to take the world of wine by storm. “China has the vineyards, but not the technical expertise,” agrees Alun Griffiths MW, “however, if good people from wine producing countries think there is opportunity to make wine in China, they will go there and invest.”
But with water shortages and food crises, how certain can this prediction be?