Napa, Sonoma and Paso Robles, California’s famous wine regions, are known throughout the country and the world for their high-quality Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Petite Syrah and Malbec. This year, California’s sunshine, fresh air and fertile soil have made the grapes grow very well in 2018. 

The vineyard at Napa Valley 

In order to explore and promote the culture of American wine, Meitao’s CEO Haiyan (Lily) Zhang decided to have a deep four-day study trip from September 12 to 15 to investigate in California this fall by combining with her own preferences of high-quality wine, as well as learning more wine knowledge on this harvest season. 

Grapes hanging on the trees

Our first stop was California Oak winery at Paso Robles, central California, since our cooperative product is California Oka wine. At noon, we received an enthusiastic reception from Don, the marketing agent of California Oak, and their winemaker. It is the busiest month for the winery to pick up the grapes and produce the new wine, so we’re lucky to see the full process of wine production. From the grapes being picked by the workers to be crushed and separated, the whole process must take place in just a few hours, ensuring the freshness of the grapes and the quality of the wine. Throughout the production season, workers and winemakers must be at working condition all the time, and their attitudes toward working will determine the quality of wine. First of all, we stood on the platform on top of the crushing machine built by the factory and watched a carload of grapes from the farm. Workers lift a huge box of grapes by using a hand-powered pulley system, dumping the grapes by gravity into giant separators, and eventually rinse the grapes left in the trunk with water. A giant separator can load four cars of grapes, thus the machine’s powerful processing capacity. A complete set of advanced wine production equipment and perfect cooperation between each department, so that the winery not only could produce their own wine but also could help other small wineries the production. Over the next two months, hundreds of large containers would be filled, and the grapes will be re-extracted and fermented in oak barrels. By the time the wine was ready to be filled, an assembly line in a highly automated production workshop, operated by skilled workers, was able to fill 120 bottles, or 12 cases of wine, just in a minute. At this point, the entire production process of wine is very clear, and we could enjoy the great wine on any places we want.

Introduction to Paso Robles: Paso Robles is the most inland region of the central coast wine region, and it is located in the middle of the distance between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Paso Robles covers 24 square miles and it is the largest wine region on the California coast area.

Another great winery in Sonoma: Daou. Last week, our friend introduced this wine. It’s not bad! We came to taste the wine: the winery is located in the east of the Paso region on the high terrain! The scenery is beautiful and charming! Many tourists were enjoying delicious food and great wine! It’s a comfortable place to relax!

Tasting notes from Ms. Zhang: when the waiter asked if I wanted to taste their wine, I also introduced my job and company at the same time. I have tasted 5 kinds of wine, although they were a little young but not bad, and what I like the most is the last cabernet sauvignon! Tannins are strong and powerful! In the end, when I was trying to pay for the tasting, they told me that I am free to go since we are all in the wine business. 

Comments: we are committed to the cultural communication and promotion of wine! We all love wine! Love wine. Enjoy life!