Back in 1892, when the Chinese diplomat and business tycoon Zhang Bishi established the first winery in the Middle Kingdom, little did anyone know how significant the wine industry would become. Zhang introduced European grapevines and released his first wines under the name "Zhang Yu Wine Company.” Assisting him in this endeavor was an Austrian named August Wilhelm Reichsfreiherr von Babo, who served as the director of the Klosterneuburg Wine School, near Vienna. Von Babo laid the foundation for what is now known as "Changyu," the largest and oldest wine producer in China, with eight wineries spread across the country.
According to data from OIV (International Organisation of Vine and Wine), China now ranks third globally in terms of wine-producing countries, with approximately 785,000 hectares of vineyards. However, in terms of wine production, it currently holds the 12th position, producing only 4.2m hectoliters. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the production volume was considerably higher.
In 2015, Lenz Maria Moser, who originates from the renowned Moser wine family and has a background in economics and oenology from Klosterneuburg, joined Changyu. His objective was to position "Chateau Changyu Moser XV" as the leading Chinese Château in the international market. Prior to this, Moser had begun his career in the family business, and later in 1997, he was recruited as the "General Manager Europe" by Robert Mondavi. From 2005, he worked for a German import company, where he got acquainted with the wines and creators of Changyu. Currently, Moser is responsible for the development of wines in collaboration with the Chinese winemaker Fan Xi.
Located in the autonomous province of the Muslim Hui minority, close to the Gobi Desert, the Ningxia wine region is situated along the Yellow River (Huanghe). In 2003, Ningxia became the first officially recognized wine-growing area in China. In 2016, Ningxia announced a wine classification system, similar to Saint-Emilion Grand Cru. In the recent past, Changyu Moser XV has been elevated to a "fourth growth" status.