First Cal China wine forum examines industry issues
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this forum would be the first of many educational exchanges between China and California, spoke about the important nature of the Huailai (pronounced why-lye) region, about 75 miles northwest of Beijing. This area has been growing grapes for more than 1,200 years and has been officially named the “Grape Capital of China” by the Chinese Department of Forestry, Zhu said.
More than a decade ago, French vintners planted an experimental vineyard in Huailai County, drawn to its potential for growing premium grapes. Today it has more than 45,000 planted acres of grapes. The Huailai area, at 40 degrees latitude, is also a part of Greater Beijing’s bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. (The only other bid finalist is Almaty, Kazakhstan).
He said there are parallels between Huailai and the Napa Valley and hopes to foster friendship between the regions. To reach Huailai, one crosses the mountains outside Beijing where the Great Wall is located. These mountains help shield the Huailai Valley, which has been designed as an environmentally protected region by the Chinese government.
As one example of environmental innovations, Zhu said wineries in Huailai are using an advance engine emission reduction product, made by the Napa-based company Eco Global Solutions owned by Dr. Joe Chuang, in its agricultural machinery. Wind machines can also be seen throughout Huailai, which has the reservoirs that supply water to Beijing.