“What’s important to produce a top-quality wine is the soil and the climate”: thus spoke Christophe Navarre, Chief Executive Officer of Moët-Hennessy; no one ever said, one might have added, that the soil must necessarily be French.
Still, it is a bit of a surprise to learn that this highly renowned maison has decided to develop its own terroir in China in order to produce a super-premium red wine. After a long and extensive research for the perfect condition, the choice has fallen upon a 74-acre plot in the Yunnan province, at the feet of the mighty Himalaya range.
Grapes to be grown, together with local partner Vat, will mostly be of the Cabernet sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet franc varieties (used in the production of Bordeaux).
Surprising at it may sound, Moët-Hennessy’s move makes perfect sense. China’s élite and its passion for the precious nectar are growing exponentially; if you can find the ideal conditions there, what’s not to like about developing your own vineyards there? The wine-loving world is learning fast all everything about it. A Cabernet blend from Ningxia, one of China’s poorest regions, came first at the 2011 Decanter World Wine Awards.