Author/作者: 杜小雯 (Xiao)
English Editor/英文母语编辑: Isabell (伊莎)
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中文原声 -Chinese：杜小雯 (Xiao)
英文原声 – English：Isabell (伊莎)
2019 marked the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between France and China. President Xi visited France in March this year and in turn, the French President, Emmanuel Macron was also invited to pay a state visit to China from November 4th to 6th, 2019. China is a nation of etiquette and diplomacy, and this needed to be reflected in the style of such a big country. On this trip to China, French President Macron brought President Xi Jinping a rare bottle of 1978 Romanée-Conti wine as a gift. This bottle is known as “France’s most expensive wine” and is worth about 20,000 euros. Just as the Chinese saying goes, gifts are best given both ways. President Xi did his best to serve his guest, pouring the best Chinese wine in return.
Which Chinese wine was brought to the table at the state banquet?
What surprises people is that China did not serve Aoyun (at US$ 300), an expensive Chinese wine produced by Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton Group in the high altitude area of Shangri-La, Yunnan. Nor is it as expensive as DBR Lafite’s first Chinese wine, Long Dai (US$ 335), produced in eastern Shandong Province. But instead, a bottle of Silver Heights wine had been chosen, from a family winery in Northwestern Ningxia, China, which costs less than 45 US dollars.
It had been reported that this wine was poured for the French President at a state banquet held by President Xi in Shanghai on November 5. Silver Heights winery did not know about it. It was not until long after the event had taken place that the local government in Ningxia conveyed the good news to the Gao family: the wine served at the state banquet was the Silver Heights 2017 Chardonnay! The choosing of this wine for the state banquet was a signal of high honour and recognition in the PRC!
It is fermented with 100% Chardonnay grapes, this wine is a burgundy-style white wine. Aged in Burgundy barrels for 12 months and bottled. Chardonnay represents the highest quality white wine Silver Heights has to offer. Since 2014, the first vintage, it has been widely praised. In 2016, it was chosen for state banquet. This symbolises high honour and recognition in China!
Similarly, when German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited China in 2016, the 2014 Family Reserve Chardonnay, the first-ever white wine from the Silver Heights winery, was also served at the state banquet.
Silver Heights was founded in 2007 by Gao Lin and Emma Gao, a father-daughter team. In a short period of time, it emerged and surpassed brands such as the GreatWall, Changyu and other major production-oriented wineries; praised as the Chinese replica of France’s “Garagiste winery”. Step by step, it progressed from Gao’s red house in Ningxia, to one of the most internationally acclaimed Chinese wine estates.
Emma’s Reserve Wine, crafted in 2009, is a top-grade wine made of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, with a limited production of 2,000 bottles per year. It is still the highest ranking Chinese wine according to Jancis Robinson, with a high score of 17 out of 20.
Silver Heights produces the following different types of wines: Emma’s Reserve; The Summit; Family Reserve and The Last Warrior.