Uncorking potential

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Uncorking potential Indian winemaker Priyanka Kulkarni works on her creation [Photo provided to China Daily]

A panel of 10 judges, including International Organisation of Vine and Wine President Monika Christmann, reached a verdict.

Corrans and four other winemakers from Australia, Sweden, the United States and the United Kingdom received gold medals. Another 10 won silver.

Winners were awarded 100,000 yuan ($15,300) and 20,000 yuan, respectively.

Christmann says: "I found it very difficult to find a difference between the quality of the five gold medals. The ones which won silver are very close to that. I didn't expect that high of a level."

The International Federation of Vine and Wine of Helan Mountain's East Foothill organized the contest to fill in knowledge gaps and bring diversity to this emerging winemaking region.

"When you compare Ningxia with other traditional areas in the world, there is a lot of information and a lot of history given from father to son and so on," Christmann says.

"You need to build some experience and history there. And you need some guidance from some experienced people."

China is poised to overtake the UK and France to become the world's second-largest wine-consumption market after the US by 2020, International Wine and Spirits Research reported in April.

But the country's drinking culture and consumption habits are still developing.

Australian winemaker Tony Kalleske, who also won a gold medal, has been selling and promoting wine in China for about 12 years.

He believes Ningxia should promote its wine culture and encourage people to enjoy wine not only on special occasions but also with friends and family in daily life.

"It needs to be educational," he says.

"The best way is to get them to actually drink and try wines, and understand what they are drinking."

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