To cut to the chase, the 2013 Ao Yun red tastes pretty damn impressive. But a bit of background might be in order.
Ao Yun, Moët-Hennessy’s new winery in China’s Yunnan region, is one of the more exciting, and certainly one of the more unusual, ventures I’ve come across in the world of wine. I met with Moët-Hennessy wine division CEO Jean-Guillaume Prats the other day to taste the wine for the first time and talk about the project. He explained that the impetus for Ao Yun was a simple question: “How do we make the best wine in China? How, and where?”
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Or, not so simple. Answering that took three years of travel around China, primarily “looking at weather conditions,” Prats recalls. “We already had a vineyard in Ningxia that was ideal for sparkling, but too extreme for red.”