Considered one of the top wineries in China, Kanaan is located at the foot of the Helan Mountains in Ningxia, which is about 1,000 km west of Beijing. Kanaan means ‘the land of milk and honey’, signifying the hope for Ningxia to be one of China’s leading regions for the production of fine wine. The winery was established in 2011 by Fang Wang, daughter of Wang Feng Yu, a pioneer of viticulture in Ningxia. Fang is nicknamed ‘Crazy Fang’ for her boldness to start a winery with no prior experience, and for embarking on the near impossible mission of growing Riesling in Ningxia.
Ningxia is known for having harsh winters that require individual vines to be buried manually in November before being dug up the following April.Temperatures can fall to -20°C and the annual rainfall is 200mm.
Kanaan has 16.8 hectares of vineyard, of which 1.3 hecatres are planted with Riesling. Due to the sandy soils, vines are planted on their own roots as there is no need for protection against phylloxera. The vines are trained in the upturned ‘L’ training system, where the cordon is kept close to the ground to facilitate vine burial. All vineyard work is done by hand as this training system is not suitable for mechanisation.
Winemaker Fang spent 12 years abroad, some of which were in Germany, where she acquired her love for Riesling. All of the grapes were hand picked. Fermentation took place in temperature controlled, stainless steel tanks. To ensure maximum freshness, the wine was bottled approximately three months following fermentation.
This is a dry style Riesling with a surprisingly full body. The nose boasts aromas of juicy lemon flavors, grapefruit, green apple, lime blossom and white flowers. The flavours are consistent and concentrated on the palate, well-balanced with bright and zesty acidity and that classic, characteristic Riesling hint of petrol.