First announced in 2011, Moët Hennessy’s Chandon Ningxia winery, which the winemaker is developing with joint venture partner SOE Nongken, is well on its way to be completed in June. According to the drinks business, the 6,300 square meter winery will be devoted to producing high-end method Champenoise sparkling white wine from locally grown Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc grapes.

In addition to a winery, the finished building will house fermentation cellars, a dedicated tasting room and luxurious visitor’s center. But considering the harshness of the terrain in Ningxia and the region’s extreme weather, the design of the winery includes several very high-tech features. According to the firm, “Traditionally wine is stored in underground cellars, but with the harsh Ningxia winters and flood-prone summers, going underground was not an ideal option. Instead we took some tips from the local wine growers who, each winter, bury the vines completely to protect them from the cold. Using the same technique, we moved hundreds of tons of local earth to ‘bury’ the fermentation cellars above ground.”

The first harvest from the 67-hectare vineyard having been completed last year, the first wines from the Moët Hennessy Chandon Ningxia winery are expected to hit the market next year. In addition to its sparkling wine project, Moët Hennessy is also hard at work developing a 30-hectare vineyard at the foot of the Himalayan Mountains in southwest China to be devoted to high-end red wine production, primarily from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet franc grapes.

Source: Jing Daily Jan 2013


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