Wine Australia's first Chinese language wine classes took place over the weekend, part of their global education strategy to raise the profile of Australian wine overseas.
Ruyi Li, based in Adelaide, South Australia, was one of two educators certified by Wine Australia to conduct an A+ Wine School class.
"People have been interested in listening to stories about wine in Australia, the history. Then they taste the wine so the information is practical, they taste the difference between wines," Li said.
In this class we try to describe wine in our knowledge, in our background, in our styles.
Ruyi is a highly qualified wine professional with a Bachelor of Bio-Engineering (Viticulture and Oenology) and a Master of Viticulture and Oenology from Northwest University in Washington state (USA) and a Ph.D. in Wine Science and Business from the University of Adelaide.
"Lots of the tasting notes are written in English, but also with English descriptions - sometimes the wine tastes of raspberry, blueberry, gooseberry, but in China these kinds of fruit are not common. That makes it harder to understand the tasting notes.
"In this class we try to describe that in our knowledge, in our background, in our styles. People found that really interesting and it helped them to remember and enjoy the wine."
Her first class consisted mainly of international students studying in Adelaide as well as immigration agents.
Though much of her study has been in the science behind wine and winemaking, her previous work as marketing officer for Premium Vintners, program coordinator for the Beijing International High-End Vintage Wine Expo and Chinese translator at Wine Australia's Savour event helps her communicate broader aspects of the wine tasting experience.
"I think the most important aspect for Chinese customers, for now, is not the high-tech, the winemaking. I think the first thing for everybody is to study, enjoy and learn about wine. As you begin to know more about wine you can realise what is good wine, and then the wine making."
Willa Yang, Wine Australia’s Regional Manager China said, “Through our A+ Wine School program and Chinese language classes, we have the opportunity to cultivate a love and appreciation of Australian wine among Chinese trade and consumers."
Jackie Qi, based in Melbourne, Victoria, was the other educator certified by Wine Australia. She a broad range of agricultural knowledge to the program, having attained a Bachelor of Horticulture from China Agricultural University and a Master of Viticulture from the University of Adelaide.
While Ruyi and Jackie are the only Australian-based Chinese language educators, they join the 17 A+ Wine School educators already certified and conducting classes across mainland China. To date more than 6,000 students have attended an A+ Wine School class in China.
Ruyi Li, one of the highly qualified educators holding Wine Australia's A+ Wine School classes.