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Perhaps somebody sacrificed too many goats to Thor, because California's five-year drought has ended with a thundering vengeance. After two months of intermittent heavy rain, rivers are pouring over their banks onto expressways, dams are near bursting, and vacationers in one flood-stranded area of Big Sur are being evacuated by helicopter. What does it mean for wine? It's too soon to tell about quality. But this year, and even more likely inCalifornia should flood the world market with its biggest wine crops ever.
Just a few years ago barely anyone had heard of wines from Ningxia in China, but today the region produces some of the country's best wines, boasting international awards, including at the prestigious Decanter World Wine Awards in London.
Last week, Cao Kailong, the director of Ningxia 's Bureau of Grape and Floricultural Industry, announced that 60 new winemakers would be invited to the region for two years. Inseven winemakers from established wine-producing countries came to Ningxia on the invitation of the local government to to share their expertise. He has also introduced the practice of burying the vines under 30 cm 12 inches of earth to protect them during the freezing winters.
The grapes are now better exposed with better maturing and we have more control. Despite being a largely arid region with harsh, cold winters, the autonomous region of Ningxia is naturally suited to wine making, say experts. At the tasting, 50 wines from Ningxia were on show and the general consensus was that the quality of the wine is on an upward trajectory.
Ford, an expert on the Chinese wine market, who managed the renowned M at the Bund restaurant in Shanghai for 10 years, attributed this to a better understanding of how to make more balanced wines. But many of the winemakers that AFP spoke to complained that the distribution of Ningxia wines remains very limited.
The region produces only a small amount of wine and demand is high, so the wines are rarely found in China's large cities and barely make it to markets abroad. But, he added, in a country that produces large quantities of wine, often of poor quality, there needs to be a local star — and Ningxia could assume that role.
In. Overseas winemakers are being given incentives to help China's burgeoning wine industry move up the quality ladder. Tracking World Wine Trends Through Atlas Inseven winemakers from established wine-producing countries came to Ningxia on the invitation of the local government to to share their expertise.
Some of the big French names already appear to be converts to the potential of the area. To the conversation, comment on our social media channels.
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