Monday, February 27, 2012

Look out... here comes the Chinese.... again! Hide the Pinot Noir quick!

Chinese investors have bought five more Bordeaux chateaux in recent weeks, according to reports.

A further 12 are likely to be bought by Chinese buyers in the near future, the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce says.

Chateau du Grand Moueys, a 170-hectare estate in Entre-Deux-Mers, was acquired last week by Hong Kong-based Zhang Jinshan.

Qu Nai Jie, president of the Haichang Group, has already snapped up nearby Chateau de Grand Branet as well as Chateau Branda, Chateau Laurette and Chateau Thebot. He is reportedly interested in more acquisitions.

Some Chinese owners devote their entire output to exports to China, but Grand Moueys will sell up to 20% of its wine in Europe and the US, according to an AFP report.

In a somewhat related news story: Bordeaux's classified growths have approved the first-ever standardized Chinese translation of their names, auction house Christie's has unveiled an official translation of each of the 61 chateaux in the 1855 classification, after 12 months of collaboration with the Medoc estates.

Christie's staff have worked with chateaux to agree on Chinese translations for their estate while others already had Chinese names. However, some chateaux including Cos d'Estournel have opted not to take a Chinese name.

The Chinese translations have been published on a poster, which will be unveiled to the Bordeaux trade during the 2012 En Primeur week.

Christie's hopes to produce similar translations for producers in Sauternes, Bordeaux's right bank and Burgundy in the future.

Friday, February 24, 2012

World of Pinot Noir March 2-3

World of Pinot Noir organizers are expecting close to 2,000 people in and around Shell Beach next week to celebrate the popular grape.

The annual gathering, now in its 12th year, attracts pinot noir producers and consumers who are fans of the wine.

About one-third of them are from San Luis Obispo County. Most others are from other parts of the state, but some will travel from as far away as New Zealand, New York and Florida.

“Our guests are looking for an experience,” said Damon Miele, event coordinator. “We definitely draw a lot of industry people. The person behind the tables pouring the wine has to be a winemaker or principle.”

About 100 wineries will be featured at various events March 2 and 3, based around the Cliffs Resort.

Events range from an $8.30-per-person discussion on the role of pinot in sparkling wines to a $400 dinner at Lido Restaurant featuring vintage wines from the Court of Master Sommeliers.

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