Blending French Bordeaux Near The Great Wall of China

Imagine a French vintner from Bordeaux trying to turn a rocky field he called “totally no man’s land” into a winery. Now, imagine that this patch of dirt was subject to harsh winters of -20 degrees Celsius, was within sight of the Great Wall of China, and was about 70 kilometers northwest of Beijing.

That was the challenge for Nicolas Billot-Grima in 2000. Today, his family is succeeding in giving the Chinese people a taste of quality wine, as his family has for six generations in southwest France.

What’s driving Nicolas to succeed? According to a study by the International Wine and Spirit Record in London, wine consumption in China, including Hong Kong, is forecast to grow 78 percent in the 10 years ending 2009. That’s more than seven times the forecast average for the rest of the world.

Read the story in the International Herald Tribune.

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