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Naturally Organic

Welcome to EDITION 739 of GRAPEVINE

Silk Road is situated very near Kazakhstan (two hours to drive) in scenic Yili, where the same named river flows through. Yili also has 2,000 hectares planted to lavender.

The climate – and weather – in Xinjiang is so arid, there’s hardly a pest in sight.

Not that we can see them in the first place as most agricultural pests are so tiny they are undetected by the naked eye.

With no need for herbicides or pesticides, the vineyards are naturally organic.

Most are certified but even if there were no such certification, the fact remains that they are indeed organic.


A “forest” of local Xinjiang plants that will become natural fertiliser for Silk Road’s newest 20-hectare vineyard planted to – including – petit verdot, pinot noir, grenache, and malbec.

Having been in two separate regions – Yanqi and Yili – in Xinjiang for the last four days, and having visited four wineries to date, I can vouchsafe for that with photographs.

Tiansai, Zhongfei, Guofei, and Silk Road, are all organic the quartet are producing award-winning wines.

Those awards include from Decanter World Wine Awards, Decanter Asia Wine Awards, and Bruxelles Concours Mondiale.

(I declare my interest here as I am Regional Chair for Asia and a Vice-Chair for the first two competitions respectively).

The most dramatic evidence of an organic vineyard I came across was yesterday, a new 20-hectare vineyard planted to, including, petit verdot, pinot noir, grenache, and malbec.

Cabernet Sauvignon in a more mature vineyard of Silk Road in Xinjiang. 

Silk Road is situated very near Kazakhstan (two hours to drive) in scenic Yili, where the same named river flows through. Yili happens also to be one of the world’s most important growers of lavender. Indeed, there are 2,000 hectares planted.

Proprietor of Silk Road LI Yong moved to Xinjiang after graduating from high school in Henan. At first Li went into business. And then flowed into wine. The future winegrower considered different regions before making a life changing decision twenty-one years ago.

Proprietor of Silk Road LI Yong moved to Xinjiang after graduating from high school in Henan. At first Li went into business. And then flowed into wine.

In 1998, Li Yong planted his first vines in Yili. So was born the original thread that was going to be woven into Silk Road, one of the most westerly – and sunniest – vineyards of China.

Wishing you A Very Sunny Weekend.

 

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