Despite an ongoing stigma about the perceived quality level of Chinese wine, the country’s vineyards made a respectable showing at this year’s prestigious Decanter World Wine Awards.
Chinese wines received a total of 19 awards for the 2014 competition, a number that falls in line with the 20 achieved last year and 18 awarded in 2012. In addition, one wine topped last year’s highest rank with a coveted regional trophy. The award for the best white wine in the “Middle East, Far East, and Asia under £15” category went to Great Wall’s Terroir Superior Selection Chardonnay, accompanying two silver medals, three bronzes, and a commended certificate awarded to the massive Chinese wine company. Other recognized Chinese wineries included Dynasty, which won a silver medal, and Pernod Ricard-owned Helan Mountain in Ningxia, which walked away with three bronzes.
The regional award is much higher than last year’s top rankings, when the highest award Chinese winemakers was silver. They’re no strangers to major wine awards, however: in 2011, Helan Qing Xue’s Jia Bei Lan Cabernet Dry Red 2009 walked away with China’s first-ever “International Trophy” at the awards. This level of success for Chinese wine still surprises some, though. After the 2011 win, wine aficionados alleged that it might be French wine in a Chinese bottle, sparking other experts to criticize them for making speculations based on stereotypes rather than facts.