Bold enough to accept an underdog
Cathay Pacific Airways made Deep Blue available to in-flight services in 2009 boldly. China’s vintages were never an option to world renowned airlines and notorious products made in China were the main concern.
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As a part of life
The story commenced in 2002. One night, my father questioned about my intention of running a family business and I asked him to tell me what it was. This is how I took over the winery.
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A shared dream of both generations: Talks of Father and Daughter, Senior and Junior Chairs of Grace Vineyard
The Chair’s interview must include Dad and it is not easy for a daughter to interview her father.
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Grace Vineyard Vintage Report 2020


Winemaking is a complex process involved hundreds, even thousands of decision making right from the vineyard. Once the grape cluster are off vines, the style of wine are pretty much “fixed”, there are only very limited amount of human influence in the finished wine.

To begin with, to select or not to select is always an option for winemakers, it all comes down to the designated wine style, objective of sorting and most importantly, the price point of the wine in the market. Interestingly, most of the renowned wineries in the world have difference practices & ideas about selection of grapes, either by the more traditional approach by hand select --- by cluster or berries; or by modern machinery – optical and densimetric sorting.

Some would prefer to put everything through optical sorting but some claim that optical system created too much wastage and resulting in a wine style that are “too clean”. Some even prefer whole cluster with high M.O.G (Material Other than Grapes, mainly stalks in this case) in the ferment, which claim to add complexity in the wine. In short, either selection method always come down to the designated wine style one is aiming for.

For us at Grace Vineyard, we very much prefer the selection process begin in the vineyard prior to harvest, before we decide the processing method at the cellar. Also, it is always good to have the luxury to conduct berry sorting but it is not necessary to put everything through a very detail berries selection process as we believe a small proportion of stalks in the ferment will add freshness in the finished wine.

Back to this report: 2020 is another interesting year for our vines, we have learned so much and understand more about them from this harvest.



For our vines, it was severely hit by frost in April (after the recent incident in 2006, 2011, 2013 & 2015, this was the fifth spring frost since the beginning), the nature is not forgiving after all on what we have done to her as a homo sapiens.

This affected our early ripening varieties and it was hit by frost twice this year. First on the 10th of April & then on the 20th of April where the night-time temperature dropped down to below 0 degree and with snow.

High moisture year for Chardonnay, a pre-harvest rain of 200mm, about 50% of the yearly average, poured down in early August created loads of pressure on Chardonnay. The harvest window opened for us for a few days and everything was picked on time before the next downpour.

Merlot were off vines next in mid September at very small amount. The weather pattern this year in Shanxi was not calm at all. Continuous rainy days which eventually measured with rainfall amount surpassed the year of 2007, which was the highest record before… But with improved vineyard management, the vines seemed to survive very well. Well, we did have to pick in some weaker sections which badly affected by the weather but the fruits seemed to holding up pretty well.

All credits goes to the effort of our vineyard team.

The harvest of Cabernet Sauvignon began on 21st September and stretched through until 9 October depending on the vineyard blocks. The last to come in was our all-time favorite Marselan, it did not seem to be affected much by the weather this year. Maybe it is the real deal for China Vineyard? Too early to tell, just yet.



On our own managed vineyard, the natural slope helped with frost resistant, some other portion of the lower blocks (not our vineyard) were badly affected by frost this year, some vineyard lost close to 90% of the crops.

We replanted some Pinot Noir & white varieties back in 2017 because of the suitability in the particular site with Cabernet Franc & Shiraz. Young vines tended to mature early due to shallow root system and warmer root temperature, it was the first to off vine (harvested) on 26 September.

Merlot vines were a bit vigorous with bigger berries this year. We expected the Merlot would be a bit late, at least late by 2 weeks by the look of the vigorousity of the vines. It turned out the harvest began with the weaker block from September 28, spread over until mid October.

Cabernet Sauvignon vines were in balance with good cropping level at around 400Kg per MU, it was harvested slightly earlier than the last batch of Merlot.

Cabernet Franc & Shiraz looked promising this year, after years of trials in this vineyard (since 2011) both grown into the direction that we wanted.



The yield was down a little for Shanxi due to the natural of the harvest. The wine will be slightly gentle in style, we think it may be very similar to 2009 & 2012 at the moment, where the tannin are finer, balance alcohol & savory in texture.

For Ningxia, since the vines are approaching 10 years old, the wine from the older vines shows plenty of freshness while the younger ones are yet to catch up. We think wine from both region will compensate each other nicely, especial
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“The Chardonnays are expressive with good varietal character, the reds from Ningxia are quite black, solid with a balanced structure; while the ones harvested from vineyards in Shanxi always show its
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Grace Vineyard in Shanxi province is making its first experiments with sparkling wine although it has no plans to commercialise the results just yet.

Speaking at the first ever vertical of Grace’s “
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