Moët Now Making Sparkling Wine in China

Luxury wine producer Moët Hennessy is later this month launching its first line of sparkling wines from grapes grown entirely on Chinese soil, reports ABC News. The move, they say, is in response to a more than tripling of demand for bubbly in the country.

The new winery, located in the Ningxia region of China’s northwest amidst the Henan mountains, is not only Moët’s first foray in the country—it is also the first entirely foreign-owned vineyard in all of China. That is, unlike other cases where the Chinese government has required companies to enter joint ventures with domestic producers, Moët has full rights to this new property, which has been growing wine-ready grapes since 2012. But why change the rules?

ABC News suggests that it could be as part of a year and a half long government campaign to “rein in lavish spending on entertaining” by press officials, curbing purchases of high-end liquor and “focus[ing] the attention of more sophisticated young urban drinkers on alternatives such as wine.” Either that, or they just like the bubbles. [ABC News] [Photo:Flickr/Mel GR]