Mount Pleasant (www.mountpleasant.com), one of Missouri’s oldest and largest wineries, is for the first time exporting to China. The winery recently sent their first shipment, consisting of 900 cases of Vidal Chardonnay, Pink Catawba, Claret, Villagio, Rhineland, Vintage Port and Norton. The shipment is valued at $190,000.
Mount Pleasant worked with Excengin Worldwide and its partners to facilitate the deal with Chinese importer Jinxing International Company Ltd. Mount Pleasant’s wines are being shipped to the port city of Shenzhen. From there, the bottles will be sent to stores and restaurants in cities throughout China, including Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu.
Chuck Dressel, president of Mount Pleasant, presented wines at the 2010 SIAL show in Shanghai in May. SIAL China is the largest food, beverage and hospitality show in Mainland China.
“The contacts I made in China loved the Norton grape,” said Dressel. “They were impressed by how it was uniquely American and, of course, its bold and rich flavors of berries and oak.”
Norton, a wine grape native to North America, is grown largely in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic States. It is the official grape of the State of Missouri. Missouri’s wine industry was founded in the early to mid-1800s by German immigrants. Missouri’s climate, with its long, hot summers, good sun exposure and thin, rocky Ozarks soil, is ideal for growing grapes. Missouri’s long history in the wine industry lead to Augusta, Mo. being name the first federally designated American Viticultural Area (AVA). Mount Pleasant is the oldest winery in the Augusta AVA.
Mount Pleasant has two more shipments to China planned for the near future. Each of these shipments is valued at approximately $225,000 and scheduled to be transported in 2010. The winery hopes to double its business with China in 2011.
“This is only the beginning of a very exciting relationship,” said Dressel. “We are thrilled to bring Missouri wines to the international community.”
Mount Pleasant Winery, founded in 1859, is located a short distance from St. Louis in Augusta, Missouri, the first government-appointed wine-growing district in the United States. The pioneer in sustainable viticulture for the Missouri wine industry, Mount Pleasant grows 16 grape varieties on 85 acres and its original limestone cellars are still used to age estate-bottled wines and international award-winning Augusta Ports. The winery features a full-service restaurant, where visitors can enjoy casual cuisine and award-wining wines in a serene atmosphere, with spectacular views of the Missouri River Valley. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with extended weekend hours, spring through fall. Visit www.mountpleasant.com for more information.
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