Thanks to the alcohol authority, China is now able to produce its own « estate wines ». Indeed, Chinese vineyard are getting certified through different standards that categorize them as good as the French, Italian, Australian and other’s wines trademark.
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Some rules Chinese are willing to follow
However, the regulations imposed by the China Alcoholic Drinks Association (CADA) aren’t as strict as they are in Europe. In their statement last June, they were listing all the criteria needed to have a certificate estate wine : the vinery must handle all grape-growing, vine making, and bottling itself, but also 100% ownership of the vineyards producing the grapes. Moreover, grapes must be placed in fermentation tanks the exact day they are harvested. To finish, the vinery needs to produce 70 metric tons of wine or more per year to qualify the designation of « classic château » as the China Daily nicknamed it. Thus, any Chinese winery can apply to hope their vintages will be qualify as a trademark.
Wang Zuming, the CADA wine branch’s secretary general declared in an interview to the China Daily that « Europe has a much longer history of wine-making, which enables detailed classification and verification of origin ». They are aware that the Chinese trademark will never equal the Appellation d’Origine Controlée in France or the DOC or DOCG in Italy but at least, they are hoping it will compete the United States wineries. Indeed, they are quiet similar in many ways. They require that grapes from all vineyards used to produce the wine must be controlled by the winery and aren’t able to leave the property at any time during the winemaking process. Moreover, the CADA will choose carefully which wineries make the cut and will also allows customers to interact and have the possibilities to report any problem they might had on their website.
A huge market with a bet to win
Chinese wineries aren’t taken seriously, whether in China or abroad, compared to the reputation of French or Italian wine, they are way behind in the way in producing a wine of quality. The Chinese wine is winning more and more share, mainly in China though. For exemple in 2012, some major vineyard (like Ningxia or Shandong) were winning prizes at the Decanter World Wine Awards. The country will become the 6th largest wine producting country in the world by 2016 and thanks to the new certification of the CADA, they are hoping that it will work in favour of the reputation of Chinese wine at home and abroad. Only time will tell !