Quality Wine from China

The World Bank reports, “In 1981, private sector employment accounted for 2.3 million workers, while state-owned enterprises (SOEs) had 80 million workers. Twenty years later, the private sector accounted for 74.7 million workers, surpassing, for the first time, the 74.6 million workers in SOEs.”

In addition, Bloomberg.com said, “Many of the world’s richest self-made women are Chinese,” and Psychology Today.com tells us, “Women own more than 40% of private businesses in China.”

Meet one of those women. Judy Leissner was 24 when she became the CEO and President of 168-acre Grace Vineyard in Shanxi province, south of Beijing after she quit her job at Goldman Sachs.

The first grape-vine plantings were in 1997 and the first vintage in 2001. Judy started the winery because her father liked to drink. Today, Judy produces a quality wine—about 700,000 bottles annually.

Most people do not know that quality wine is produced in China. In fact, Judy has competition because, according to the International Organisation of Vine and Wine, China now has the second-largest vineyard area worldwide after Spain, pushing France into third position.

Judy says there is an opportunity in China to make a lot of money in a short period of time, because the country is developing and growing.

The difference between the wine market in China and the rest of the world is that most drinkers in China must drink because they have to. It’s part of the culture of doing business and developing guanxi.

Grape Wall of China.com visited Grace Vineyard in September 2011, and Jim Boyce says he visited Grace CEO Judy Leisser, and he reported, “About a week ago, she sent an email that the wines Grace bottled under screw cap earlier this year are doing fine and, if all goes well with final trials, the winery will switch closures this year for its entry level and premium level wines. Grace’s Premium Chardonnay ranks among the better Chinese wines and is found in top hotels and restaurants in Beijing and Shanghai.”


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the unique love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

#1 - Joanna Daneman review posted June 19 2014

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