Greek Wine Made in China? Ough…

Posted by in Eat-Drink, Economy, Mixed Grill

It is certainly not the right time to write about Red Wines. Under these temperatures I avoid drinks containing alcohol and I stick to bottled water from the fridge, which I consume liter-wise. Should I want to accompany a light summer dinner with a glass of wine, I’d  rather grasp to a well chilled dry Italian Frascati. Low in alcohol, delicate and citrusy in taste, this one glass will most probably seduce me to drink a second one….

But Red Wine in summer? No way! I wouldn’t even  dare to sacrilege and add an ice cube to the red wine as quite some Greeks do. Red wines are fine… for winter. Why do I mention Red Wines, then?

Simply because I found an article on the web, interesting in terms of business opportunities for debt-driven Greeks and because it concerns one of my favorite Greek wineries, the Kir-Yanni vinery of Boutaris family, and one of my favorite Greek red wines variety, the Xinomavro!

Boutaris hointed venture with China

In Decanter magazine,  David Furer writes that “Greece’s Kir-Yianni and China’s Mogao wineries have joined forces to plant the first Xinomavro vines in China.  

The joint venture, Moen Estate, has raised ¥500m (US$74m) for the project, in Gansu province.

Mihalis Boutarisof Kir-Yianni in Naoussa told decanter.com the pilot vineyard will increase from 4ha next spring to 150ha over the next few years.

Meanwhile, Boutaris and Mogao’s winemaker will select and rebrand the best batches of Mogao’s current wine production.

Gansu has an alpine desert climate similar to that of northern Greece. Boutaris thinks its combination of conditions could produce ‘above-average to phenomenal’ wines. 

 Mogao is a government-owned company listed on the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchanges. It produces malt, pharmaceuticals, animal feed, medicinal opium, and wine.

Greek wine Made in China? Ough…

 And here is the point that causes me some reservations. Mogao has nothing to do with a local wine producer, who loves, fondles and even talks to his wine grapes laying in the sun (I’ve seen that in Germany!). Thus knowing very well the  practices  of  pharmaceutical companies producing animal feed, knowing the working conditions of Chinese labor… well all these would  certainly create an ‘ethical conflict’ inside me and spoil every single sip I’d take from that promising “above-average to phenomenal wine”.   I’ve lived 10 years in Germany’s Baden Wurttemberg, discovering and adoring locally produced and world famous Kaiserstuhl and  Alsace wines. Excellent tastes, large grapes varieties, divine mixtures.  A good wine should be so.  Growing with care, tasted without feelings of quilt. I do hope  Kir Yannis will not sell these wines Made in China in Greece.

Excellent articles in English about  Xinomavro you will find by www.elloinos.com of  Markus Stolz here  and  here