China’s Grace Vineyard: ‘We made something impossible possible’

22nd August, 2017 by Natalie Wang

One of China’s leading family-owned wineries, Grace Vineyard, celebrated its 20th anniversary this month, as its CEO Judy Chan says its biggest achievement was, “making something impossible possible”.

Grace Vineyard organised a 20th anniversary wine dinner at the winery earlier this month in Shanxi province, where the winery is based.

Speaking to dbHK, Chan said that the winery had come a long way and highlighted what an achievement it had been to build one of the best wineries in China from scratch.

“I think the biggest achievement for the winery is that we made something impossible possible: we built a family-owned winery that focuses on quality with a team who didn’t have any experience in the wine industry. Now, we are considered one of the best in China,” she said.

The winery, located in Taiyuan city of Shanxi province, which is famous for its rich coal mines, was founded by Judy’s father, a Chinese-Indonesian businessman named Chun Keung Chan in 1997, and was then handed down to his daughter in 2002, who at the time was working in the HR department of Goldman Sachs.

The vineyards are located between Taihang Mountain and Lu Liang Mountain have grown in size over the last 20 years from 68 to 200 hectares with additional plots bought in neighbouring Shaanxi and Ningxia provinces.

Primarily targeting the domestic market, the winery’s wines are reported to take up more than 50% of market share in the local Shanxi province, ahead of Changyu and Great Wall, two major domestic and state-owned wineries in China, according to Hua Xia Wine News.

The winery saw a major boost for its domestic wine sales when it netted a deal with China’s leading wine importer ASC Fine Wines to distribute six series of its wines in Mainland China through its HORECA channel including the Vineyard Series, Premium Series, Tasya’s Reserve, Deep Blue, Chairman’s Reserve, and Angelina’s Sparkling wines. In Hong Kong, its wine is distributed by Ponti Wine Cellars.

Making mainly Bordeaux blend wines, in recent years the winery has started to experiment with more diverse varieties including Aglianico and Marselan. Additional new varieties have been planted since 2013 in small quantities including Saperavi, Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Nebbiolo, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, Chan told dbHK earlier in a separate interview.

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