With sales of 430 million bottles, Changyu celebrates success of the Noble Dragon
Exactly ten years after the launch of Changyu Noble Dragon into Western markets, the famed Chinese brand declared an official day of celebration on 25th May – calling it World Cabernet Gernischt Day. In 2006, Changyu Noble Dragon entered 28 countries in Europe, America and Asia, making it into 3,000 supermarkets, mail-order sales system, wine shops and five-star hotels of Europe as well as first-class cabins of flights of Germany Deutsche Lufthansa, being the first Chinese wine brand that stepped into the European mainstream market.
As part of the celebrations for World Cabernet Gernischt Day, Dr Li Jiming, the researcher and international wineevaluation expert employed by such authoritative organisations as the Organisation Internationale de la Vigne et du Vin (OIV), the chief engineer of Changyu Pioneer Wine Company Limited, and the first “China’s Master of Oenology”, was at Vinexpo Hong Kong to meet with trade partners and the press. When Changyu was founded in China in the late 1800’s, the company introduced 124 wine grape varieties from Europe and bred a high-quality wine grape with specific regional characteristics. After years of grafting and improving, and to date, Cabernet Gernischt has become the only internationally recognised wine grape variety cultivated by China.
WE WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW THAT CHINA HAS QUALITY WINES, AND THAT THE CHANGYU BRAND IS A VERY OLD AND REPUTED BRAND
Changyu’s first winemaker, Baron Max von Babo, came from Austro-Hungary, and thus the names of the early grape varieties of Changyu had strong German features. Professor Luo Guoguang from Pomology Department of China Agricultural University speculates that the name of Cabernet Gernischt is probably a misspelling of the German Cabernet Gemischt. Professor Luo Guoguang put forward, in Study in Origin of Cabernet Gernischt, a paper published in 1999 “70th Anniversary of Chinese Society for Horticultural Science and Academic Seminar”: “Its correct original German name is Cabernet Gemischt, with the true lexical meaning of “Cabernet Mixed”, that is “mixed (or hybrid) Cabernet”. This indicates that the batch of seedlings under its mark is neither pure Cabernet Sauvignon nor pure Cabernet Franc, but the mixture or hybrid of these two varieties. At that time, the original name was miswritten as Cabernet Gernischt, the translator thought that it was another Cabernet variety besides Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, therefore, it was given another name, Cabernet Gernischt.”
TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF ICE WINE PRODUCTION IN CHINA
Changyu was also promoting the tenth anniversary of Changyu Golden Valley Icewine during Vinexpo HK. In recent times, this sweet wine has made it into such prestigious addresses as the Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai, which until 2013 had not sold wines from Asia. Located at a latitude of 41 degrees north and 380m above sea level, the “Changyu Golden Icewine Valley” by the side of Huan Long Lake (known as Eastern Ontario), is planted with 5000 Mu (333 hectares) of ice vineyards, a unique providential environment. Already in 2011, at the Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA), Changyu Golden Valley Icewine (2008 Golden Diamond Vidal) won the award for Sweet White Wine, with the comment: “Great richness, sweetness and freshness with ripe mango, aromatic pineapple, apricot and honey. Good structure, body and harmony.”
CHANGYU LEVERAGES VINEXPO NOT ONLY FOR PROMOTION, BUT ALSO TO GAIN MARKET INTELLIGENCE…
Dr Li Jiming told Vinexpo Daily that his company’s participation at this show was for numerous reasons: “The main purpose of participating in Vinexpo Hong Kong is the fact that we believe that international buyers still have a little less understanding of Chinese wines than those of other countries. We want people to know that China has quality wines, and that the Changyu brand is a very old and reputed brand. We have a very broad variety of products, including the Cabernet Gernischt, the Icewine, but also rosés and white wines from other Châteaux in China. Another reason for our participation is for us to gain more understanding of global trends in the wine business, including new grape varieties or products that are emerging.”