23rd May, 2013 by Patrick Schmitt
China’s Chateau Hansen is to launch a luxury label called Red Camel with a retail price of €500 in its domestic market.
Chateau Hansen winemaker Bruno Paumard was formerly at Loire sparkling wine producer Bouvet-Ladubay
The new wine uses organically-grown Cabernet Sauvignon from a single parcel of 15-year-old vines in Ningxia.
Harvested at the end of November 2010, winemaker Bruno Paumard said it had an abv of 14.7% and was “the best wine we can do”.
Having spent two years in 100% new French oak barrels, a total of 10,000 bottles are ready for release at €500 each.
Paumard, who was formerly a winemaker at Loire sparkling wine producer Bouvet-Ladubay, said the best terroir in China was found in the Ningxia region because the area was hot but didn’t suffer from the rot-inducing rainfall which afflicts places closer to China’s eastern coastline.
However, extremely cold winters in Ningxia, which is located in the hills around Mount Helan, require viticulturists to bury the vines beneath the soil from December until mid-April, according to Paumard.
“Generally winter temperatures are minus 9-10 degrees Celsius but one year in 10 the temperature drops to minus 30, such as 2009, and you can lose a lot of vines,” he told the drinks business.
Paumard, who was present at this week’s London International Wine Fair where Château Hanson took a stand for the first time, said the Chinese wine company was looking for a UK importer.
However, he explained that the UK market was not a priority for the producer.
“We are at the LIWF for fun and prestige,” he admitted, adding, “We sell 2 million bottles in China at €12 and above, but if we export, we sell at €2.5 – we make much less money exporting.”