I am a reporter with an English-language newspaper based in Shanghai, covering a wide range of business topics including luxury, lifestyle, real-estate market, wealth management and retail market. Throughout these sectors, it is very clear that ‘wine’ has become a keyword.
Consumption of wines has been surging in the past years and market has been observing growing thirst for wine knowledge and ‘investment’ opportunities. Celebrities and wealthy people from China are buying chateaux in France; wine importers are opening outlets nationwide, making people believe that wines are good for health; Sauvignon Blanc has been replacing rice liquors on the tables at wedding banquets in many cities.
The wine industry has become an often-discussed topic – as a reporter, I find nothing better than a systematic educational course that will help me to understand wines as an industry. And as a keen diner and (responsible) drinker, I find nothing better than a course that let me to taste tens of wines (including some of world’s best and most expensive ones) that help me to understand and enjoy wine and spirits, which are among the best things in life.
With some basic knowledge, strong interests and rarely any professional training in wine sector, I find WSET Level 2 course quite suitable for people who wish to become a knowledgeable drinker to look behind the label (knowing more than Lafite 1982) and to be exposed to multitude of wines, regions and characters. I am looking forward to the course and hope it will be a journey that develops my senses!
As the founder of Aroma Republic, Terry Xu is a young wine expert and one of China's most influential opinion leaders in wine. Wei Xu started his wine life right after studying in Bordeaux (BEM). Having been certified by 6 wine regions and countries including CIVB, BIVB, BINC and WSET, Wei has delivered more than 500 wine training sessions since 2007. As a wine writer Wei has more than 250,000 followers on Wechat and Weibo.
Sylvia (Jiawei) Wu is the web editor of DecanterChina.com, taking care of Decanter’s China-focused editorial operation.
Trained as a journalist in Beijing Foreign Studies University and then University of Leicester, Sylvia is fluent in English, Japanese and Mandarin. After a career in advertising, Sylvia started her journey in wine with Decanter in 2012. The former non-drinker was immediately drawn to the astonishingly complex but fascinating world of wine. She has now completed her studies towards WSET Diploma.
Sylvia is keen to discover the best value and most approachable styles of wine, which she can easily share with her family and friends in China, and encourage them to start understanding and enjoying the incredible beverage.
Stephen Quinn is based in Hong Kong and has been writing about wine in the Asian region for the past six years. He makes videos for DecanterChina.com as well as writes print stories. Along with his freelance work, Dr Quinn runs MOJO Media Insights where he trains media professionals to make broadcast-quality videos using only an iPad Mini. He is the former digital development editor at the South China Morning Post, where he helped re-launch the site that won in November 2012 the WAN/Ifra gold medal for best news website. From 1996-2011 Dr Quinn, an Australian, was a journalism professor in Australia, the UAE, the US, and most recently China. From 1975-1995 Dr Quinn was a journalist in Thailand, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. He has written 18 books. The most recent, the third edition of MOJO: Mobile Journalism in the Asian Region, appeared in 2012. Examples of his videos can be found at http://www.youtube.com/ningbomojo. He blogs at http://squinn.org.
Stephen Brook has been a contributing editor to Decanter since 1996 and has won a clutch of awards for his writing on wine. The author of more than 30 books, his works include Complete Bordeaux, now the definitive study of the region and in its second edition, and The Wines of California, which won three awards. His most recently published book, The Finest Wines of California, is his third on Californian wine. Brook also fully revised the last two editions of Hugh Johnson’s Wine Companion, and he writes for magazines in many countries.
Sarah Jane Evans MW is an award-winning journalist who began writing about wine (and food, restaurants, and chocolate) in the 1980s. She started drinking Spanish wine – Sherry, to be specific – as a student of classics and social and political sciences at Cambridge University. This started her lifelong love affair with the country’s wines, food and culture, leading to her appointment as a member of the Gran Orden de Caballeros de Vino for services to Spanish wine. In 2006 she became a Master of Wine, writing her dissertation on Sherry and winning the Robert Mondavi Winery Award. Currently vice-chairman of the Institute of Masters of Wine, Evans divides her time between contributing to leading wine magazines and reference books, wine education and judging wines internationally.
Richard Juhlin is the author of seven books on Champagne and a freelance writer contributing to magazines including Spectacle du Monde, La Revue de Champagne and Wine International. He also runs The Richard Juhlin Champagne Club (champagneclub.com) through which he arranges tours to Champagne and manages the members-only Richard Juhlin Champagne Bars in Stockholm and Copenhagen.
Juhlin is currently working on the television series, Drinks and Restaurants in Europe, which will be aired in the USA and China, and he previously appeared in the Norwegian television series Nesevis.
The recipient of numerous awards, Juhlin was made a Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite Agricole in 2002, and last year he was presented with l’Ordre National de la Légion d’honneur for his contribution to Champagne.
Juhlin additionally carries out cellar consultations, holds wine tastings and lectures across the globe. He currently holds the world record for the highest number of champagnes tasted – over 10,500 to date. Right now Richard is working on a big project called Champagne Hiking; he is searching for the 100 best places on the planet to taste the 100 best champagnes in the world.
Nina Fan Feng is Decanter’s China brand manager. She joined Decanter as an intern in 2012, and became digital producer of DecanterChina.com a few months later.
Originally from Beijing, Nina rarely drank wine before starting the job at Decanter. The environment at Decanter encouraged her to explorer the rich and colourful world of wine and passed her WSET Level 3 with Merit in 2015. She likes to try different styles of wine, and finds fruity white wines very attractive, especially Germen Rieslings.
Apart from wine, Nina likes swimming, travelling, and playing guitar.
Maxime Lu (LU Jiang) is the founder and chief wine Advisor of Wineonline.cn and has been running a wine club based in Beijing since 2005. He is also the founder and chief wine educator of Wineschool.cn since 2006, and the founder and core contributor for Wineblogchina.com since 2011.
A member of several blind tasting panels for publications including RVF China, Food & Wine (China), Wine in China, and a regular wine judge for international and domestic wine competitions, Jiang also acts as a consultant for various companies.
Maxime has been visiting the wine regions of USA, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, France, Italy, Portugal，Moldova for over 15 years.
Jiang Lu has been a Decanter Asia Wine Awards judge since 2015.
Mark Graham is a Beijing-based writer who has visited many of China’s wineries – from coastal Shandong, to far-western Xinjiang – and written extensively about the country’s fast-developing wine industry for many prestigious international magazines. British-born Graham has interviewed many of the key China wine-industry players, along with major internationally-renowned figures who pass through China, including outgoing Torres chairman Miguel Torres, who was profiled in a recent DecanterChina.com story.
Graham also writes about the burgeoning restaurant, bar and wine-bar scene in China, particularly in the capital, Beijing, which has seen an explosion of fine-dining outlets during the past few years.
“The one constant about China is that everything changes,” says Graham. “The wine industry, like just about everything else here, is enjoying phenomenal growth at a rapid pace. It is fascinating to document it and great to see local wine-makers receive international recognition.”
LU Yang is Corporate Wine Director for Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, overseeing the group’s wine program and sommelier team. Lu graduated from Viticulture and Winemaking Degree from Niagara College in Canada. Previously he spent 3 years as sommelier for Peninsula Shanghai where he profoundly raised the status of local sommeliers, and became the most important and influential sommelier in Greater China.
Lu is the champion of Best Sommelier Greater China (2014), and has won all 3 major sommelier competitions in China. He is the first Advanced Sommelier from Greater China, and holds WSET Level 4 Diploma. He is also regarded as one of the finest wine educators in the country. Lu writes, judges and speaks about wine regularly.
In August 2017, he became China's first Master Sommelier.
Demei LI, associate professor of Wine Tasting and Enology in Beijing Agriculture College and invited teacher at ESA Angers, France. He obtained Master diploma for Fruit Tree Science, and Engineer for Viti-Oeno-Economie in ENITA de Bordeaux. Demei had his training in Chateaux Palmer, and visited almost all the wine regions in the world. He is aiming to create a dialogue with the consumer with wine.
Demei was the first chief wine maker and technique director for Chinese-French government-joint venture project, Sino-French Demonstration Vineyards and Winery. He consults for several wineries in China, including Helan Qingxue, Leirenshou in Ningxia, and Tiansai, Zhongfei in Xinjiang.
Demei is currently the member of the Chinese Wine Technique Committee, and the member of National Wine Judge Board. Demei is vice-general-secretary of China Wine Association and Vice-general-secretary of Chinese viticulture Society. Consulting for several vineyards in China, and one wine won International Trophy in Decanter World Wine Award in London 2011. He won 2012 Wine Intelligence 10-for-10 Business Award and RVF’s Man of the year in Chinese wine industry. He was invited as the judge for several wine challenges in Singapore, HK and in Europe. Demei was invited by the organizer from Wine for Future, wine business international as well as some of French, Italian, Portuguese and New Zealand’s wine association to speak on Chinese preference on wine.
Demei started to write for the Wine Review of Singapore 10 years ago, and today he is one of the most famous wine writers in China, wine columnist for several wine magazine and news. He published ‘wine-communication from a Chinese winemaker’ and ‘Wine Grapes Varieties’.
Born in France, Julien Boulard has been living continuously in China since 2003. He is a WSET Diploma holder and is currently studying for the Master of Wine. His fluency in Chinese, both spoken and written, his experience and knowledge of the wine industry, as well as his strong activity on Chinese social media have allowed him to become a popular wine educator.
Jennifer Docherty is the first ethnically Chinese and Mandarin speaking Master of Wine. She grew up in a traditional Chinese household despite being born in Vancouver, Canada. Docherty was a fashion designer in New York before making her way to London. Her love of gastronomy led her to pursue part-time WSET wine courses, which inspired her to change careers from fashion to wine, where she eventually achieved the Master of Wine in 2015.
In her varied career, Docherty has worked in education, sales and fine wine buying. She also judges in wine competitions including Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA). As a French speaker, she is currently working with Liberty Wines as the buyer for France, in addition to many other countries. She delights in sharing her passion about wines and what she has learned to a willing audience, especially if it helps to enhance their appreciation of wine.
Janet spent her formative years in China before immigrating to the UK as a teenager. She started drinking (good) wine in a Harry Potter style gown during her studies at Cambridge University. After graduation she pursued a career in trading and finance in the City of London, and was Vice President in the Commodities division of a global bank. Both professionally and socially Janet has consulted business people, officials, entertainment and sporting stars, winemakers and merchants on global markets and wine culture. With her experience in the financial-derivatives market and with global commodities, she has also consulted on the viability of e-trading platforms and financial products for the wine market. Janet is currently completing a book on the history and culture of wine in China, and an essay from the book was shortlisted for the Circle of Wine Writers Young Wine Writer’s Award 2013, in association with Pavilion Publishing and Wine Australia. Janet has a blog on winepeek.com.
Jane Anson is Bordeaux correspondent for Decanter, and has lived in the region since 2003. She is author of Bordeaux Legends, a history of the First Growth wines (October 2012 Editions de la Martiniere), the Bordeaux and Southwest France author of The Wine Opus and 1000 Great Wines That Won’t Cost A Fortune (both Dorling Kindersley, 2010 and 2011). Anson is contributing writer of the Michelin Green Guide to the Wine Regions of France (March 2010, Michelin Publications), and writes a monthly wine column for the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong, where she lived from 1994 to 1997. Winner of Prix Baron Philippe de Rothschild and graduate of DUAD tasting diploma with Bordeaux Institute of Oenology. Accredited wine teacher at the Bordeaux Ecole du Vin, with a Masters in publishing from University College London.
Ying Guo is currently the Sommelier at 67 Pall Mall.
Ying joined Four Seasons three years ago during the pre-opening of Four Seasons Hotel Pudong, Shanghai. As a local Chinese sommelier, Ying has organised numerous wine tastings at Four Season, such as the Chateau Margaux vertical tasting, Biondi Santi vertical and Quintarelli. In addition to these tasting events, she has been involved in other high-profile events, including Robert Parker’s Grand World Tour, the annual Chaîne des Rôtisseurs gala induction, and the 2014 China’s Wine List of the Year Awards. Ying has also judged at the China Sommeliers Wine & Spirits Challenge and China’s national sommelier competition.
Her many accolades include winner of the China National Sommelier Competition 2012, and 4th place at the World’s Best Young Sommelier competition 2013. Recently, in her extended role as Senior Sommelier of Four Seasons, Ying will be supporting the Sommeliers and Restaurant Managers in all Four Seasons hotels in China. She will be available to assist with on-property training and guidance but also help our operations by developing and directing wine programs for the region. Ying Guo has been a Decanter Asia Wine Awards judge since 2013.
Having started her study of fine wine whilst reading a PhD in Classical Chinese at Cambridge, Fongyee Walker went on to co-found Dragon Phoenix Wine Consulting, a fully independent wine consulting and education service, in 2007. She is a specialist wine educator (in English and Mandarin), wine consultant, and WSET Certified Wine Educator and is largely responsible for Dragon Phoenix having becoming one of mainland China’s most successful WSET providers. She became a Master of Wine in September 2016.
She has judged at numerous wine competitions including the Hong Kong International Wines and Spirits Competition, the Royal Melbourne Wine Show and the Qantas Western Australia Wine Show, also acting as a blind-tasting panelist for RVF China and Wine in China amongst other Chinese wine magazines.
Ellie Douglas was introduced to working in the wine world when she joined Decanter as editorial assistant in 2013, after graduating with a BA in American Studies, from the University of Manchester in 2012.
She learnt more about wine, websites and social media, and became assistant web editor in February 2015.
Ellie took the Intermediate Level WSET in the summer of 2015, and passed with distinction. Styles of wines she enjoys include Clare and Eden Valley Riesling and white Burgundy… as well as most things sparkling!
Edward Ragg / 杜慕康 is a published poet, Professor at Tsinghua University and co-founder, with his wife Fongyee Walker / 赵凤仪, of Dragon Phoenix Wine Consulting (est. 2007). With Walker, he teaches WSET Diploma in mainland China.
Ragg has written for Decanter Magazine, The World of Fine Wine, Harpers Wine & Spirit, among other publications. His on-line wine writing has appeared on Decanter.com, Jancis Robinson.com, Catavino, Enobytes and Visit Vineyards.
A former Captain of the Cambridge University Wine Tasting Team, Ragg has judged at various international wine competitions including the International Wine Challenge. With Fongyee Walker, he also co-authored the Cambridge University Guide to Blind Tasting (2004, revised 2006, 2010, 2012, 2015).
Ragg is an Associate Member of the Institute of Wines & Spirits, a WSET Diploma holder, a Certified WSET Educator and has also completed qualifications with The Court of Master Sommeliers and the Society of Wine Educators. He is currently studying for the Master of Wine.
Chris joined Decanter as news editor in 2013 and became editor of Decanter.com in 2015.
After a Masters in journalism in 2004, he moved to Languedoc-Roussillon in France. The first winemakers he met were too busy fighting riot police to discuss terroir. But he soon got a taste for wine, in particular after visiting Aimé Guibert at Mas de Daumas Gassac.
Chris has since written for publications including The Guardian, Telegraph, Time.com, and many trade magazines, as well as being interviewed as an expert by BBC, NPR (US) and CNBC.
He has been lucky enough to enjoy many outstanding wines, from top Bordeaux to lesser known creations, such as the Gentle Folk's 'Field Blend' from Adelaide Hills. Chris also holds an MSc in food policy.
A lawyer by training, CH’NG Poh Tiong also holds a postgraduate Certificate with Distinction in Chinese Art from the School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London. He is an Honorary Ambassador of TEFAF – The European Fine Art Fair – Maastricht. Ch’ng works principally as a wine journalist and is publisher of The Wine Review, since 1991, the oldest wine publication in Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and China. In 2000, he also published, as an annual, the world’s first Chinese Bordeaux Guide. A columnist for the United Kingdom’s Decanter magazine, Ch’ng is also Regional Chair, Middle East, Far East & Asia, Decanter World Wine Awards. He also writes a weekly blog in Sina.com, perhaps China’s biggest internet portals; a bi-monthly column for TARGET, one of China’s widest circulation luxury magazines; and, a fortnightly column in decanterchina.com. Ch’ng Poh Tiong is also author of the bi-lingual Chinese/English book 108 GreatChinese Dishes Paired and ebook at www.108chinesepairings.com. He is wine consultant to Singapore’s FairPrice and Finest supermarkets and one of three wine consultants to Hainan Airline. Ch’ng is also founder of www.vinovideos.com, the world’s first bilingual Chinese/English wine video website. His paternal ancestry is from Hui’an, Fujian Province, and on his maternal side, Shunde, Guangdong Province.
Andrew Jefford is a columnist for both Decanter magazine and www.decanter.com, Jefford has been writing and broadcasting about wine (as well as food, whisky, travel and perfume) since the 1980s, winning many awards – the latest for his work as a columnist. After 15 months as a senior research fellow at Adelaide University between 2009 and 2010, Andrew is currently writing a book on Australia’s wine landscape and terroirs. He lives in the Languedoc, on the frontier between the Grès de Montpellier and Pic St Loup zones.