Chinese wine makes its mark at Melbourne Food and Wine Festival

Visitors to the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival will have the opportunity to taste quality wine from somewhere they may not expect, China.

The ABC reports that an event to be held at the Langham Hotel will compare Australian made wines with their Chinese counterparts.

Judy Chan, chief executive of Grace Vineyard wines, an award-winning vineyard in the Shanxi province, is in Melbourne for the event.

She told the ABC that Australian wine drinkers tend to express surprise when they encounter Chinese wine.

"Most of the time it's shock. 'What? China produce wine? Really?'," she said.

Chan explained that wine drinking is something new for most Chinese people.

"Even when I started 14 years ago, and I asked people to taste the wine, they'd ask me what it is," she said.

"Many people have never drank wine before.

But she added that things have changed since then and wine drinking is becoming more accepted.

While Grace Vineyard wines are not currently available in Australia, Chan said she would like to sell them here.

The Chinese wine industry is growing rapidly, so much so that a Chinese wine Changyu Noble Dragon is now the most popular brand of wine in the world.

As Olive Press reports, Marques del Atrio, one of the five biggest bodegas in the Spanish region of Rioja, will import and distribute China’s Changyu Noble Dragon wine from the end of March.

Riojia is seen as the heartland of the Spanish wine industry.

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