Ao Yun Shangri-La 2013
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Grapes grown in ancient soil; a terroir steeped in history and tradition. A place that honours the quiet dignity of humans working at one with nature. A high plateau nestled among the Himalayan peaks, reaching for dreams in the sky, grounded by the hallowed earth. A wine shaped by generations of precious knowledge blended with forward-thinking, worldly attitudes.
Ao Yun means "flying above the clouds" or "roaming above the clouds." The name refers to the thick, wandering clouds of this incredible region and celebrates the birthplace of the legend of Shangri-La. Hidden paradise among the Himalayan Mountains. The vineyards are located just below the sacred Meili Mountain at altitudes soaring to 8,530 feet in height, to allow the Cabernet Sauvignon to give its finest expression of a unique terroir. Ao Yun is made from 314 blocks on 68.4ac of vineyards. All viniculture processes are conducted entirely by hand.
Ao Yun celebrates the visionary, the iconoclastic, the brave and the singular. Our continuous quest to reimagine what’s possible defines the very notion of luxury — extraordinary, exceptional and rare.
China’s wine regions are spread throughout the country. In terms of volume, China ranks among the world’s top 10 wine producing nations. Interest in wine (particularly red) is growing here, especially among the younger generations.
China’s most lauded appellation, Helan Mountain, on the border of the popular region of Ningxia, close to the Yellow River, is known for Cabernet blends. Ningxia as well as Shanxi are at higher elevations, receive a lot of sunshine and experience large diurnal temperature variation, ideal conditions for winegrowing. The humid, eastern coastal regions of Shangdong and Hebei Province are responsible for over half of China's yearly wine production. Here the key variety is called Cabernet Gernischt, which has proven to actually be Carmenere.
Though China has been producing wine from its own native varieties for 1,500 years, the industry didn’t gain any real inertia until the end of the 19th century when about 100 European varieties arrived. Today many international companies (Moet Hennessy, Remy Cointreau, Pernod Ricard, Torres and Barons de Rothschild) have a stake in the country’s wine scene. However, the Chinese government continues to invest, now exceeding foreign funding.
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.