Grace begins sparkling experiments

3rd June, 2014 by Rupert Millar

Grace Vineyard in Shanxi province is making its first experiments with sparkling wine although it has no plans to commercialise the results just yet.

GraceSpeaking at the first ever vertical of Grace’s “Chairman Reserve” at last week’s Vinexpo, CEO Judy Chan (pictured), said that only 3,000 bottles of “Angeline” (named after one of her daughters) had been made.

She explained that the decision to make the blanc de blancs sparkler had been reached after a suggestion from winemaker Ken Murchison that a block of Chardonnay “that never got ripe” would make a good base for a sparkling wine.

The wine, a 2009 vintage, has been made using methode traditionelle and is still on its lees at Grace’s cellar. As yet the winemaking team cannot decide whether it should be extra brut or given a small dosage.

“Half want it to be 0 grams and the other half want to add 6g,” Murchison laughed as he spoke to the drinks business.

He added that it was possible that they would experiment with different levels of dosage on the remaining bottles.

A sample of the wine was added to the vertical and drew wide praise from the attendees, including Robert Joseph who suggested that while extra brut was a crowd pleaser among sommeliers and the trade, “a small dosage” would make it more appealing to consumers.

Chan however, told db that she did not think it would be “commercially viable” at the moment as sparkling wine is not popular enough in China and the small volumes “aren’t enough to cover our costs if we try and sell in Hong Kong or Macau.”

Nonetheless, she said she was going to “see what happens in Shandong” and suggested that enlarging the sparkling production could happen if the market for it began to pick up.

One Response to “Grace begins sparkling experiments”

  1. George Potter says:

    The “commercial viability” depends on what the sale price per bottle would be. In Spain, very high quality Cavas and other sparkling wines sell for around $20.00 US, and the same brands sell outside – USA, UK and other countries for aound $35.00 to $40.00, depending on duties, etc. What the going prices are in China I do not know, but Mrs. Chan could take note of some of the prices for these wines, as well as Champagne, in order to establish her niche as the pioneer sparkling wine maker in the country. As for production, I know a winery here that bottled 350 Brut Nature Reserve of one recent vintage, so numbers are not necessarily that important. However, if production figures are primary, maybe she should look at Freixenet or Codorniu, or maybe J. Carcía Carrion.
    I am presently writing a book in English on Cava and other quality sparkling wines made in Spain. And although numbers here are important, so is quality.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

Administrative Assistant

Swig Wines Ltd
Chiswick, London, UK

HR Manager

Amathus Drinks PLC
London, UK

Beer Development Specialist

Matthew Clark
London, UK

Senior Sales Manager

Haynes Hanson & Clark
Gloucestershire, GB

Customer Services Administrator

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London, UK

National Business Development Manager

Speciality Drinks Group
London, UK

Inventory Analyst

Bibendum PLB
London, UK

Events Executive - Atom Supplies

ATOM Supplies Limited
London, UK

Off-Trade Sales Account Executive

Domaine Direct
Nationwide, working from a combination of home & London office.

Sales Executive/Brand Ambassador

Glenfarclas
Ballindalloch, Speyside, UK

Client Manager

Noble Rot
Wandsworth, London, GB

Spirits Investment Director

Stilnovisti
London, UK

Junior Brand Manager

Enotria Winecellars
Park Royal, London, UK

Content & Digital Assistant

ABVGlobal
London, UK

Sales Manager

Cellar Trends
London, UK

Champagne Masters 2017

Deadline : 7th July 2017

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

Deadline : 10th July 2017

The Global Malbec Masters 2017

Deadline : 10th July 2017

The Global Syrah Masters 2017

Deadline : 18th July 2017

Click to view more

The Drinks Business Awards 2017

Now in its 15th year, the db awards have become the most authoritative, internationally respected badge of achievement in the alcoholic drinks industry.

The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters 2017

the drinks business Hong Kong announces its first year of The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters.

Rioja Masters 2016

Now in its fifth year, the competition will recognise and reward the finest Riojas on the world stage.

Fortified Masters 2016

Now in its third year, The Fortified Masters will reward the best fortified wines on offer.

Click to view more