Chinese winemaker Zhang Jing (pictured right) recently spent a month at the Waite as the 2017 Visiting Winemaker, lending her experience and insight to the School’s viticulture and oenology students. Jing is winemaker and co-owner of high-altitude winery Chateau Helan Qingxue in northwestern China’s Ningxia region.
The Crawford family established the Walter, Carew and Richard Reynell Fellowship in 1975 to honour the contribution of the Reynells to Australian winemaking and to perpetuate the memory of two sons tragically lost through two World Wars.
The Fellowship underpins the Visiting Winemaker program at the University of Adelaide. A winemaker of high standing and typically from outside of Australia spends up to four weeks working with the University’s oenology and viticulture students.
Jing studied in China and the Rhone Valley, France and has worked with winemakers in Australia and South Africa. The Helan Qingxue (meaning sunshine and snow on Helan mountains) winery opened in 2005 and cultivates Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and a local grape called Cabernet Gernischt.
In 2011, Qingxue Vineyard won the International Trophy at the Decanter World Wine Awards for its Jia Bei Lan Grand Reserve 2009 (2009 Cabernet), which is the highest award ever won by a Chinese winery.
During her time at Waite, Jing helped the students with vintage and ferments, gave seminars, and held two wine tastings for students and staff. The first tasting covered wines (including ice wine) from the Ningxia wine region in China the second her own wine from Chateau Helaen Qingxue.
Image left: Zhang Jing (front centre) with Viticulture and Oenology students and staff at the Waite winery