It was not foreseeable that viticulture in the Middle Kingdom would one day gain the importance it has today, when the Chinese diplomat and business magnate Zhang Bishi founded the country's first winery in 1892, introduced European vines and marketed them under the name »Zhang Yu Wine Company« brought the first drops onto the market. He was supported by an Austrian: August Wilhelm Reichsfreiherr von Babo, director of the viticulture school in Klosterneuburg. At that time he laid the foundation for today's "Changyu", with eight wineries in China, the largest and oldest wine producer in the country.
Today, according to OIV data, with around 785,000 hectares of vineyards, China is in third place among the wine-growing countries in the world - in terms of wine production, with just 4.2 million hectoliters, it is only in 12th place. Before the corona pandemic, however, the production volume was significantly higher .
In 2015, the Austrian Lenz Maria Moser joined Changyu. His declared goal: to position »Chateau Changyu Moser XV« as the leading Chinese château on the international market. Moser comes from the fifth generation of the well-known Moser wine family and studied economics and oenology in Klosterneuburg. He began his career in the family business before being hired by Robert Mondavi as General Manager Europe in 1997. From 2005 he worked for a German import company and through this job got to know the wines and makers of Changyu. Moser is now responsible for the development of the wines together with the Chinese winemaker Fan Xi.
The Ningxia cultivation area on the Yellow River (Huanghe) is located in the autonomous province of the Muslim Hui minority, near the Gobi desert. Ningxia was the first officially recognized wine region in China in 2003. The region has an average of 3,000 hours of sunshine a year - Germany has an average of 1,528 - and the continental climate ensures large day-night amplitudes. Here, Moser and Xi mainly produce Bordeaux cuvées with the aim of measuring themselves against the great icons of the category. That's why they confidently present their wines in "benchmark tastings" alongside greats like Opus One or Rothschild-Lafite.
The grapes for the »Helan Mountain Range« line grow at an altitude of up to 1,100 meters in the foothills of the Helan Shan massif, the border between Ningxia and Inner Mongolia. This is where the Blanc de Noir from Cabernet Sauvignon is made. The company Bos Food from Meerbusch takes care of the import to Germany.
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