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China increases medal haul at Decanter World Wine Awards

Chinese wines nearly doubled their award tally this year at the Decanter World Wine Awards, with 18 wines winning a medal.

Chateau Reifeng-Auzias: Gold medal

Among the top winners was Chateau Reifeng-Auzias in Shandong province which won the Regional Trophy for Red Middle, Far East & Asia under £10 for its Cabernet 2010, with the same producer taking Silver for its Syrah 2010.

Reifeng-Auzias is a joint venture between Domaine Auzias in Cabardès in the south of France and wine lovers Wu Feng and his wife Mei Ling, who run an oil company in China.

Last year, Chinese wines won 11 medals, with the Jia Bei Lan 2009 from He Lan Qing Xue in Ningxia province in northern China winning the Red Bordeaux Varietal Over £10 International Trophy.

This year Chinese wines won one Gold medal, two Silver, 10 Bronze and five Commended.

Ningxia, in northwest China, is regarded as one of the country’s most promising wine regions, along with Shandong province, China’s major winemaking region, which has some 10,000ha of vines and where Chateau Lafite has established a vineyard.

All the Chinese wines at this year’s Decanter World Wine Awards come from the winemaking regions: Inner Mongolia, Hebei province, which neighbours Shandong, and Shanxi.

The other Silver medal was won by Leirenshou 2009, a Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot blend from Ningxia.

China’s long-established Grace Vineyard in Shanxi won five medals, as did wines from Great Wall, China’s largest wine company, owned by state conglomerate Cofco.

The majority of winning wines are Cabernet blends, but the list includes a Reserve Traminer 2010 from Château Sun God – part of Great Wall – in Hebei, Domaine Helan Mountain’s Reserve Pinot and Reserve Merlot, a Chardonnay and the white grape Dragon Eye, both from Great Wall.

Domaine Helan Mountain, whose reds won this year, last year won awards for two white wines: Silver for its Classic Chardonnay 2008 and Bronze for its Premium Collection Riesling.

Decanter publishing director Sarah Kemp said China’s continuing success at the DWWA ‘yet again confirms that it is a country to watch. We are just beginning to see a glimpse of its potential.’

International Trophies will be announced at the Decanter World Wine Awards presentation dinner at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London.

The full list of Decanter World Wine Award winners can be found here.

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