China has recently launched a trade association for icewine producers. Located in Liaoning province, it aims to standardise the production process and reinforce the regional brand.
Earlier this month, the ‘Huanren Icewines Production Standards Alliance’ was launched in the Huanren Manchu Autonomous County of Liaoning province, one of the key quality icewine-producing regions in China.
The mission of the alliance, according to the organisation’s regulations, lies in establishing production standards and guiding its members’ R&D efforts towards these standards, as well as communicating with domestic and international standardisation organisations.
Though led by some well-known domestic brands, icewine production in China is still at a ‘very early stage’ of development, meaning setting up trade standards is crucial to raising the overall product quality, said officials. Through the process of developing a set of trade standards together, ‘local producers can work together and they will become more self-disciplined,’ said a spokesperson of Chateau Changyu Icewine Co., Ltd Liaoning. ‘Raised product standards and quality will further boost the image of the entire region,’ the spokesperson added.
Currently 12 local producers, including Changyu, have ‘voluntarily’ joined the alliance (see attached list), whereas more companies and individuals involved in the production chain are expected to be invited to join in the future, said officials.
Zhang Weiqiang, the head winemaker of Chateau Changyu Icewine, was elected by the members as the secretary-general to the new association, who will be in charge of putting together the new trade standards.
The new regulations are expected to define icewine-making in the region: from plantation to pollution-free production, crushing, fermentation and quality classification, the spokesperson told DecanterChina.com.
‘We aim to establish the industrial cluster and regional brand of Huanren Icewines, so as to be able to compete against our peers in the international market,’ he said.
UK merchant Berry Bros & Rudd currently stock four wines from China, two of which are ‘Golden Valley’ icewines produced by Changyu’s Huanren estate, in addition to two dry red wines from the same producer.
‘Customers do not flock to us eager to try them, but when we put the sweet wines (icewines) in front of them, the reception is extremely good,’ said Jasper Morris MW, senior buyer at BBR, when speaking of consumer reactions to their China range.
As the key region for quality icewine production in China, Huanren gained its protected geographic indication status in 2006 from China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ). The key icewine varieties in the region are Vidal, Riesling and Cabernet Franc.
Current members of the Huanren Icewines Production Standards Alliance (12 members)
辽宁张裕冰酒酒庄有限公司 (Chateau Changyu Icewine Co., Ltd Liaoning)
辽宁五女山米兰酒业有限公司 (Liaoning Wunu Shan-Milan Winery Co., Ltd)
辽宁维格那葡萄酒有限责任公司 (Liaoning Vigena Wine Co., Ltd)
桓仁思帕蒂娜冰酒庄园股份有限公司 (Huanren Senpatina Ice wine Domaine)
辽宁三合酒业有限公司 (Liaoning Sanhe Winery Co.)
辽宁北纬41度酒业有限公司 (Liaoning 41 Degrees North Latitude Winery Co., Ltd.)
桓仁大东沟饮品有限公司 (Huanren Dadonggou Beverage Co., Ltd)
桓仁龙域酒业有限公司 (Huanren Longyu Wine Industry Co., Ltd)
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