China’s Penglai wine region to introduce third party quality control

Penglai in China’s eastern Shandong province has introduced a third-party assessment organisation to evaluate the city’s 55 wineries for food safety related issues especially targeting fake wine made with toxic chemicals that pose potential health hazards.

Penglai in Shandong province

The month-long assessment will evaluate each winery’s winemaking processes from vinification, and storage to any potential substandard product management and subsequent recall as well as personnel management and winery management of food safety according to Chinese media Wine Business Observer.

The announcement came on the back of a national scandal late last year when a Penglai-based, registered winery called Wei Ya De produced two whiskies called ‘Flylions’ and ‘Faliya’ that hospitalised 22 people in Guangdong in southern China – bordering Hong Kong and Macau – because of its toxic methanol contents.

Penglai is a major domestic wine producing region in China, home to Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite)’s Domaine de Penglai winery and China’s foodstuffs conglomerate COFCO’s Great Wall Penglai winery.

Trade professionals in China have largely applauded the Penglai government’s move, given the local government has been keen to turn its wine producing sector into a pillar industry for the local economy, but how effective the evaluation is and to what degree the report will be revealed to the public are unknown.

Penglai is located along the same latitude as Bordeaux and Napa in California and has more than 100 years of winemaking history. It was selected by Lafite as the site for its Chinese winery Domaine de Penglai, which is set to release its first wines later this year.

Penglai also organises a wine-themed Marathon, similar to the Napa Wine Country Marathon and Marathon du Médoc. It attracted over 4,000 runners across the country last year, according to China Daily.

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