China Winelands – The Chateau of Changyu by Leigh-Ann Luckett

Wine fundi, Leigh-Ann Luckett, continues with her travels around the world in search of wine….  China.

Bellies full of noodles, we were ready for an 08:00 start at Changyu’s Chateau Moser XIII. The Chateau was named in honour of Mr Moser XIII, the pioneer of trellising, and grandson Lenz Moser XV currently stands as chief winemaker. Moser is one of 6  chateaux in China, 2 in France & 1 each in Italy, Spain & New Zealand. And they’re not kidding about the chateau part. Changyu’s founder, who brought wine vines to China in 1892, went on to win a gold medal at the international exhibition held in San Francisco in 1915 at the opening of the Panama Canal. The flair for showmanship has lived on. Moser boasts an in house theatre; museum; an interactive wine education centre where you can test your smell recognition, learn about taste receptors & pair varietals with foods; and of course an imitation ship to celebrate that gold medal. You can custom label your own wine bottle, take wedding photos, grab a bite at the restaurant & stroll through the gardens while the endless staff of lovely young ladies in old fashioned green dresses with lace cuffs & collars flutter around. But you cannot taste more than 1 wine – an average medium-tier red blend. Not without a conversation with the director. We feared we were truly out of luck on our Chinese wine adventure.