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May 13, 2011  •  get thee to the winery

this is emma gao of the SILVER HEIGHTS vineyards, located in ningxia china. her wines have won praise and awards worldwide amongst the most finicky of sommelier noses - quite a feat from a few hectares of a 1200m high and dry plateau. emma, a winemaker prodigy cum successful wine-trepreneur, is also the GM of a foreign-owned vineyard in penglai (a four hour drive north of qingdao), in the heart of shandong's wine industry and where this portrait was taken. it's an outtake from a series shot for the may issue of dragonair's inflight magazine, SILK ROAD. as a neophyte connoisseur who's yet had a reason to spit out a gulp, i was nonetheless taken aback when i got to sample the 'summit' cabernet over an exquisite lunch prepared by emma's mom. it's a richly coloured ruby nectar with strong oak overtones (i'm a sucker for woody flavours in a wine) and its nose is of rich dark fruit - not your average carafe of great-wall-glory grape juice at the local supermarket. i brought home an extra bottle, compliments of the house ;-)

NOTE: THIS IS A REPOSTING OF AN ENTRY FROM APRIL WHICH HAD TO BE RETRACTED UNTIL PUBLICATION OF THE MAGAZINE. APOLOGIES FOR THE DOUBLE VISION.'wine queen' • penglai, china    © marc montebello all rights reserved

'wine queen' • penglai, china

© MARC MONTEBELLO  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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