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  • Writer's pictureMeghan

Kung Hei Fat Choi

Happy New Year!

To those that celebrate Chinese New Year, that is. I was lucky enough to enjoy a few years of the Chinese celebration of New Years while living in NYC. A friend's parents owned a small but mighty Chinese restaurant and each year they would open it up to their daughter and her friends. Food was never ordered but dishes of all kinds were passed around to each of the tables and we all shared the meal as one big happy and sated family.

If you have some time, look up some of the traditions surrounding the holiday, which is taking place Feb 10 2024. The Year of the Dragon. It has some fun and heart warming traditions, and it's a great reason to order a bunch of chinese food :)

Now, what does this have to do with wine? Well believe it or not but China has become one of the leaders in grape and wine production recently. There are over 1,970,000 acres under vine, placing it just behind Spain and France for overall vineyard acreage.

Where are they growing these grapes in this climate? Most of the country is desert or mountains; so the ideal grape growing environment lies mostly in the northern region of the country and along the Yellow River.

So, are you seeing any Chinese wines in the stores? Depending on where you live, its unlikely. They aren't growing just the grapes we're used to; they have Red Globe and Kyoho grapes. They also grow Muscat and Thompson Seedless (which you're probably familiar with). In fact most of the grapes they are growing are table grapes and they are only using about 15% of grape crop to make wine. They are working on creating new crosses and hybrids which will be exciting once they make it over our way so we can try something totally new.

Of course Cabernet Sauvignon has made its way into China, and is now the most widely planted grape, surprise! Merlot, Chardonnay, Cab Franc, Gamay, Shiraz, Grenache have all also found a spot in the Chinese climate among others.

Keep your eyes peeled for any wines from China, or start asking for it at your wine shops. I'd love to start bringing Chinese wines around to tastings so I'd also love it if we could get some around here :) In the meantime, enjoy your Lo Mein and have a Happy New Year!

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