Moët Hennessy, the company behind Moët & Chandon and Veuve Clicquot, released a new high-end wine. However, it wasn’t produced in Bordeaux but in Tibet. It’s a cabernet sauvignon called “Ao Yun”, sacred clouds in English.
The company had Australian oenologist Tony Jordan roam the massive country for four years looking for proper wine country before settling in the northwestern part of Yunnan province, only thirty-five kilometers from the Tibetan border.
Near the origins of the Mekong river, at elevations of more than two thousand meters, the company selected four villages, two on each side of the river for their grape potential.
Jean-Guillaume Prats, president of Moët Hennessy Estates & Wine division told Bloomberg : “It’s not about soil but about how many hours of sunshine you have and what the cycle of weather is.” Because of shadows from the mountains there’s only sunlight from 11 am to 3 pm and thanks to the altitude the climate is dry and cool. The limited sunlight makes for a longer growing cycle. Prats compares it with slow cooking.
Most critics received the wine well, saying it is the best red out of China so far. Unsurprisingly it doesn’t come cheap at two hundred and fifty dollars per bottle. And while some critics say its price doesn’t reflect the quality of the flavor, it certainly puts China, the fifth largest wine producer by volume, on the map as a producer of good wine.