Burgundy, the Napa Valley, Chianti and... Adong? The best new wine capital of the world may be in China, if Moet Hennessey has anything to say about it.
The French luxury brand has made a name for itself throughout the world for its champagnes — like Moet et Chandon or Dom Perignon — and its Hennessey cognac. The company has now set its sights on China, looking to produce a new fine wine in a rural area in the southwest of the country.
The full-bodied red wine Ao Yun is grown and bottled in the Adong area of China, on a remote plateau approximately 8,530 ft. above sea level and near the Tibetan border. With only 24,000 bottles produced, each bottle is priced at 300 euros, or approximately $333.47.
“We are starting to see wine collectors around the world wanting to have iconic wines produced in China,” Jean-Guillaume Prats, president of Moet Hennessey’s estates and wines division, told the Financial Times. “We certainly would never have priced it at that level if we were not confident or if the critics around the world had not said that it was an exceptional wine,” he added.
China has looked to fashion itself as a new wine destination in recent years, alongside France, Italy, Spain and other established vintner hubs. The process has been slow, as it takes time to build a loyal following, and demand for Chinese wine has remained minimal.
But that could change as luxury brands like Moet Hennessey see an opportunity for an emerging market and a new potential for branding. Making wine is also a slow process, and young vines often need time to mature before they produce high-quality fruit.
“It takes time. Vines aren’t something you can plant and have good wine that year,” Master of Wine Debra Meiburg told Agence France-Presse in 2014. “China will rock our wine world — we just have to wait a little longer.”