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转载英国金融时报专栏作家Jancis Robinson对中国葡萄酒行业的评价

Mediterranean Boy    发表于 : 2008-06-27 20:56    只看楼主 楼主
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‘Millions of Chinese will be disappointed’

By Jancis Robinson

Published: March 15 2008 01:58 | Last updated: March 17 2008 07:50

I went back to China earlier this month after a gap of five years. Visitors of a more serious bent may go to China in search of answers to the future the planet. I went in search of wine.

On my first forays in 2002 and 2003 I had been struck by the relatively low quality of Chinese wine and by what an extraordinarily high proportion of it tasted like very, very thin, not quite clean, red bordeaux. Wine made from grapes was still a pretty marginal phenomenon in China five years ago but, in the meantime, China has become the world’s sixth most important grower of grapevines. The number of Chinese with aspirations to a western lifestyle has, to use a hackneyed but in this case thoroughly justified phrase, grown exponentially. And wine is now seen as an increasingly familiar accoutrement to that lifestyle.

The dominant company, Great Wall, is said to fill about 150m bottles of wine a year now. As an admirer of Chinese determination and organisation, I was expecting to see real progress in wine quality. But, overall, I was disappointed that the norm did not seem to have changed much in five years.

Some of China’s best wine educators and professional wine-buyers had kindly conducted a pre-tasting and eventually gathered 15 reds, a white and a pink for me to taste, blind, in Shanghai’s International Wine Centre, a one-room office converted into a wine school on the 24th floor of one of the hundreds of skyscrapers that have sprouted in Pudong since my last visit. This month you can see the river from it, but it is already clear where another two or three office blocks will eventually block the view.

Chinese crackers
Some better than average Chinese wines:

Catai, Superior Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 Shandong
Château Junding, Oriental Dry Red Bordeaux Blend 2005 Shandong
Grace Vineyard, Chairman’s Reserve 2005 Shanxi
Great Wall Huaxia Vineyard A Bordeaux Blend 2005 Heibei (Changli)
Great Wall, Huaxia Vineyard B Bordeaux Blend 1998 Heibei (Changli)

My fellow tasters had rejected three-quarters of what they had initially tasted, but some of the chemical and occasionally rotten odours I found in some of the selected wines took me back to the dark days of 1970s Britain when only about one in two bottles smelt clean.

The Chinese market is so vast, and so relatively undeveloped and unschooled, that there seems to be little consumer pressure to improve the quality of what is sold in the straight-sided bordeaux-shaped wine bottles that are de rigueur there. It may not help that the domestic Chinese wine market is dominated by a handful of large companies such as Cofco’s Great Wall, Changyu and Dynasty, nor that distribution is so regionalised in China, where deals with local officials, not to mention layers of hotel and restaurant staff, are essential to progress.

Another problem is the weather. Summer and early autumn rains dog most vineyards except for those in the far west, five hours’ flight from Shanghai and a very long and expensive haul back to the major cities. Shandong on the east coast has been the focus for a high proportion of Chinese wine operations but vine diseases are a perennial problem in this humid climate and alcohol levels often need to be boosted by adding sugar, so-called chaptalisation. At least growers there do not have painstakingly to bank up every vine every autumn to protect them from potentially fatally cold winters.

A high proportion of Chinese viticulture has depended crucially on cheap labour to do this, although one of the most progressive producers, Grace Vineyard, has already successfully mechanised the banking up (if not yet the spring unbanking) operation in view of the continued migration from China’s still primitive villages to the super-sophisticated cities. With an eye on the future, in the new vineyards they are planting, they are, innovatively for China, leaving enough room for tractors between the vine rows. The great majority of China’s wine grapes are grown by farmers who have never tasted a drop of wine in their lives. Their chief concern is to deliver as large a crop to the wine producer as possible. Irrigation (before the summer rains arrive) and heavy addition of fertilisers are common. Winters are long and the growing season is relatively short. Vines tend to be vigorous and in some areas may find themselves sharing a plot with beans or bok choy. The overall result is wines lacking in body and vinous interest.

Another deep-seated problem is the quality of winemaker training. Students at China’s wine academies tend to be taught all about chemistry and winemaking hardware but can emerge garlanded with honours having tasted remarkably little, and certainly no foreign, wine. Fongyee Walker, the Cambridge-educated co-founder of Dragon Phoenix Fine Wine Consulting in Beijing, told me that at a winemaker get-together in Shandong the professionals managed to down a whole bottle of Chardonnay without even noticing it was badly corked.

As so often in new wine regions, far more effort has gone into shipping fiendishly expensive oak barrels from distant France than into ensuring that the fruit is of a quality to warrant them. I saw stacks of them at Grace Vineyard, still wrapped in cling film because the 2007 season was too cold and wet to yield wine of sufficiently high quality to fill them.

The vast majority of vines planted are (still) Cabernet and Merlot and it is effectively impossible to import cuttings to supplement the official stocks of French vine material.

The market seems to have been schooled to expect wine to be red, watery, bone dry, often rather tannic and tough (destemming is not routine) and too often less than pristine. Is it any wonder that I fear wine may not catch on in China? Especially since a bottle of wine costs about 20 times as much as a bottle of beer – even though taxes on domestic wine are well under half the nearly 50 per cent levied on imports. Every day millions of Chinese must try their first bottle of wine and be desperately disappointed.

Most of the wines listed here tasted very different from this norm. It seems likely that Cofco’s cosseted new ‘Château’ Junding owes its robustly New World character to its Chilean consultant and Australian-trained local winemaker, just as the 2006 vintage sitting in cask at Grace Vineyard is distinctly fruitier than its predecessors thanks to their new Australian winemaker. The Catai wine, made by the Sardinian wine company Sella Mosca, tastes eerily un-Chinese, just as the Great Wall single vineyard bottlings do.

For years Chinese bottlers were notorious blenders of imported bulk wine but China’s wine labelling rules, if not the controls, have become much stricter. Jim Boyce of the Chinese wine blog www.grapewallofchina.com told me he had seen a label that admitted to some Chilean wine content. Last year China imported more than three times as much wine in bulk as in bottle, enough to fill 130m bottles. If the Chinese are to produce good wine of their own, they need to discover both the right place and the will to do so.

Mediterranean Boy
   发表于 : 2008-06-27 21:08   只看此人2楼 引用

作者:Jancis Robinson




Catai高级解百纳 2003 山东
君顶酒庄酒 东方波尔多干红 2005 山东
怡园酒庄 庄主珍藏酒2005 山西
华夏长城A 波尔多葡萄酒 2005 河北昌黎
华夏长城B 波尔多葡萄酒 1998 河北昌黎





另一个深层次的问题是酿酒师的培训质量。在中国葡萄酒学院,学生教授的都是关于化学和酿酒硬件设施,葡萄酒品签少得可怜,更不用说品国外的葡萄酒了。Fongyee Walker,北京龙凤美酒咨询公司的创办人,英国剑桥大学毕业。他告诉我,在山东的一次酿酒师聚会上,一些专业人员设法开一瓶Chardonnay酒,而丝毫没有注意到酒已经坏了。



但是,上述所列几款葡萄酒口感则大不一样。看来,中粮集团(COFCO)的新宠,“君顶”酒庄酒的鲜明的新世界特点,应归功于智利顾问和经澳大利亚培训的酿酒师。正如怡园酒庄2006年份葡萄酒比以前具有更明显的水果香味,要归功于新任澳大利亚酿酒师一样。由撒丁葡萄酒公司Sella Mosca出品的Catai葡萄酒,口感完全不象中国的,正如长城酒厂的灌注方式完全不同于国内。

多年来,中国以灌注进口桶装葡萄酒而声名狼藉。但是中国葡萄酒标签管理更加严格了。中国葡萄酒博客www.grapewallofchina.com的Jim Boyce告诉我,他曾经看见一款灌注智利葡萄酒的中国商标。去年,中国进口桶装葡萄酒是进口瓶装葡萄酒的三倍多,足够灌装一亿三千万瓶葡萄酒。如果中国要生产出自己的好酒,他们应当找到合适的葡萄园地,拿出一番毅力才行。
Mediterranean Boy
   发表于 : 2008-06-27 21:29   只看此人3楼 引用

   发表于 : 2008-06-27 21:43   只看此人4楼 引用


   发表于 : 2008-06-27 23:31   只看此人5楼 引用
   发表于 : 2008-06-27 23:57   只看此人6楼 引用
各个庄有各个庄的高招,体制不一样,市场不一样,追求也不一样。Jancis Robinson世上有几个?中国有十四亿人呢,去掉100万还有13亿9千900万[Img]/face/qqface/20.gif[/Img][Img]/face/qqface/27.gif[/Img][Img]/face/qqface/36.gif[/Img]
   发表于 : 2008-06-28 01:16   只看此人7楼 引用
怡园酒庄 庄主珍藏酒2005 山西


vivo de vino
   发表于 : 2008-06-28 06:31   只看此人8楼 引用


华夏长城A 波尔多葡萄酒 2005 河北昌黎
华夏长城B 波尔多葡萄酒 1998 河北昌黎


龙凤美酒顾问公司Fongyee Walker指的是 赵凤仪女士

   发表于 : 2008-06-30 18:45   只看此人9楼 引用

我们的葡萄酒生产企业,你们到底注重什么呀 ??

   发表于 : 2008-06-30 23:25   只看此人10楼 引用


Mediterranean Boy
   发表于 : 2008-07-01 01:21   只看此人11楼 引用
For your information only.



   发表于 : 2008-07-20 18:57   只看此人12楼 引用
   发表于 : 2008-07-24 17:22   只看此人13楼 引用
   发表于 : 2008-07-24 17:44   只看此人14楼 引用
   发表于 : 2008-07-27 00:07   只看此人15楼 引用
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