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What They're Saying

Media Coverage

Produced by J2F Productions, this documentary film follows Joël Dupuch from Hong Kong to Beijing as he meets Chinese Francophiles who are following a passion for French viticulture, wine, and cheese. 

Originally aired on France 5. 

Watch the whole film on Youtube.

“Wine is not really in [China’s] culture—we make tea, not wine,” says Emma Gao, owner of Silver Heights winery. Bringing connoisseurship to what is a fast-evolving sector, Gao is one of the few independent producers in the Ningxia region, an area that’s now being dubbed the Napa Valley of China.

On the first day of the annual autumn wine harvest, Vogue took a road trip with Lexus to northern China to meet Gao at her vineyard. This film is part of a four-part documentary series, Journeys in Taste, which celebrates pioneering tastemakers and the meticulous craft that underpins their visions and Lexus vehicles...

Click here for the full article and video. 

Amid surging demand, most of the country’s wineries focus on bulk production at the expense of taste. But the Burgundy-style char­donnay and Bordeaux blends that Emma Gao produces at her Silver Heights winery, located near Mongolia and the Gobi desert, are increasingly prized in China—and drawing acclaim from critics such as Robert Parker and Jancis Robinson. Gao, who studied enology in Bordeaux, is known for her uncompromising technique...

The Drinks Business: Uncorked with Emma Gao

January 31, 2017

"Emma Gao, the formidable winemaker behind China’s leading boutique winery Silver Heights in northern China, is one of the forefront vintners revolutionising consumers’ attitude towards Chinese wines. A certified oenologist trained in Bordeaux, Gao studied oenology at Bordeaux University and later honed her winemaking skills at Château Calon-Ségur, where she met her husband Thierry Courtade, winemaker at the estate. Her first vintage, 2007, was greeted with applause from domestic and international wine experts. Her 100% Cabernet Sauvignon ‘Emma’s Reserve’ and a Bordeaux blend ‘The Summit’ are among the most prized China produced reds. In recent years, the winery expanded its range to include a white, a Burgundy style Chardonnay, and its most recent ‘The Last Warrior’ series. Emma speaks to dbHK about a 1985 Domaine Faiveley red that led her into wine industry, her dream dinner party and why she is 100% content with her life at the moment."

Watch a beautiful short film about Silver Heights, directed by Jungles in Paris.

"Up until now China has not been known for its wine. At Silver Heights vineyard in the country's Ningxia region, winemaker Emma Gao is attempting to change that perception. Where the area had previously focused on bulk wine production, her approach is on achieving world-class quality—and the fruits of her labours are winning over critics and wine drinkers at home and abroad.

With ambitions to make Ningxia China’s Napa Valley—the renowned Californian winemaking region that sparked scandal at the 1976 Judgment of Paris blind tasting by stealing first place from a French wine—Gao is championing the region as “a new world in the new world.”

"Au milieu des rangs de vignes encore lourdes de grappes en cette mi-octobre, une petite butte de terre dépasse. « En hiver ici, il fait moins vingt degrés, alors nous devons enterrer les pieds tous les ans », indique Emma Gao, 40 ans, la patronne du domaine Silver Heights. En novembre, une fois taillées, les vignes sont recouvertes de terre pour les protéger. Malgré cette opération coûteuse en main-d’œuvre, environ 10 % des pieds ne survivent pas. En dépit de ces conditions extrêmes, le Ningxia est la région la plus prometteuse pour le vin chinois.

 

Silver Heights a été l’un des premiers domaines à attirer l’attention des critiques internationaux. Robert Parker, célèbre dégustateur de vins américain, a donné 91/100 à deux des vins d’Emma Gao, vigneronne formée en France, et Jancis Robinson, critique de vins britannique, 17/20. Silver Heights n’est pas un cas isolé. Ces dernières années, quand un vin chinois gagnait un concours, il venait la plupart du temps du Ningxia..."

"This,” says Emma Gao as she races through the sun-scorched countryside of north-west China in a dusty Nissan Livina, “is la Route des Chateaux.”

 

“There are almost 40 different entrepreneurs – maybe more. Every day it is changing,” the Chinese winemaker explains, slaloming between French, English and Mandarin as she tours her 70-hectare (170-acre) vineyard at the heart of a region government officials are calling China’s Bordeaux...."

"YINCHUAN, China — On a fall evening in a fluorescent-lit classroom at Tsinghua University in Beijing, a dozen students listened intently. The speaker, Emma Gao, held a glass to the light and asked them to study the swirling liquid inside. Tsinghua is known as the “M.I.T. of China,” but this was no freshman seminar in fluid mechanics. It was a gathering of the student wine club.

Ms. Gao, a diminutive woman with a quick smile, was conducting a tasting of recent vintages from her family-run winery in Ningxia, a remote Chinese region on the edge of the Gobi Desert. Behind desktops lined with glasses..."

"What interests me about wine, almost as much as how it tastes and where it comes from, is the host of human stories in every glass. Here is the story of one young female winemaker that nicely illustrates the current evolutionary state of the wine world.

 

 

Emma Gao was born and raised in Yinchuan, the capital of Ningxia, a remote and impoverished province in central China. After studying literature, she was somehow able to study economic agriculture at university in what was then Leningrad, where she moved with her father at the end of the Soviet era. Soon after this, her father spent several weeks in France and, in her words, 'he began to appreciate how wine can be a civilising influence'. This led to a family decision to start a winery, almost before..."

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