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Andrew Ian Powley(安德烈•伊恩•波利):来自新西兰,是新西兰梅西大学生物技术学学士,先后曾在新西兰、澳大利亚、英国、美国和中国做酿酒师。他从2001年开始接触葡萄酒行业,2011年担任香港Portrait酒庄的酿酒师,目前担任德福国际公司的酿酒师兼生产经理,负责监督来自世界各地的葡萄酒产品的进口和装瓶。
 
 
       能入围宁夏国际酿酒师挑战赛,我心情很激动。能回到我30年前来过的地方真的很奇妙。1988年,当时我十岁,在邻省甘肃居住了一年,当时我父母在那里执教。此后我再也没有机会回来过,直到我听说了宁夏国际酿酒师挑战赛。2011年我搬到了香港,虽然仍在葡萄酒行业工作,运营着一条装瓶生产线,但只是接触进口成品葡萄酒。我迫切希望能回到葡萄园,再次从事酿酒。
       在一个地貌、气候、文化完全不同的新地方酿葡萄酒是个挑战,令人兴奋之余,也更让人期待。因为曾经体验过甘肃的夏季和秋季,所以一踏上宁夏的土地,沙漠景观和气候让我感觉亲切熟悉。幸运的是,我在9月来到宁夏,这可能是宁夏一年中最舒适的时节。随着季节更迭,温暖且干燥的白昼和凉爽的夜晚,为酿酒葡萄的成熟提供了近乎完美的条件。
       安顿之后,我见到了其他参赛同行。在赛事组织者的安排下,我们参观了当地的一些葡萄园和酒庄。首先便是令人印象深刻的张裕摩塞尔酒庄,它入口建筑雄伟,水域景观精美,博物馆壮丽。张裕酒庄巨大的储罐区和生产区明显展示了它对中国葡萄酒,尤其是宁夏葡萄酒继续发展的信心。
       与宏大的张裕酒庄形成对比的是我们参观的另一家同样令人印象深刻的志辉源石酒庄,这里更加静谧。建筑规模小一些,主要由当地石材建成。进入酒庄,映入眼帘的是花园迷宫、酒桶厅、发酵室、瓶装酒酒窖和功能区。当时,我们品尝过的宁夏葡萄酒并不多,但品尝源石酒庄的葡萄酒真的让我们大开眼界,原来这个地区也能酿造如此优质的葡萄酒。从淡雅果香的白葡萄酒到浓郁的赤霞珠,都有潜力与其他产区的葡萄酒媲美。
       我观察到,虽然时处榨季,但很多酒庄的建筑工程依然在进行中。我们参观期间,大部分的白葡萄酒已经处理完成,正在储罐中发酵,红葡萄酒品种也在等待采摘。我们参观的大部分酿酒厂都一直进行建筑工作,小到建筑物正面墙的装饰,大到混凝土板的浇筑、不锈钢生产设备的焊接。当然,这也显示出宁夏产区的发展速度。
       在几天参观后,每位参赛者就要出发去各自的合作酒庄,开始酿造自己的葡萄酒。我很幸运,能和迦南美地酒庄配对合作。酒庄位于贺兰山脚下,在银川的西部。第一次走进酒庄,我就感受到它的建设兼具实用性和美学设计。站在酿酒师的角度,看到迦南美地酒庄的生产过程,我很放心。从果实处理到装桶装瓶,都是在不影响葡萄酒品质的过程中轻松完成的。
 
安德烈与采摘工人在葡萄园
 
       我到迦南之后,在采摘葡萄之前还有几天空闲时间,可以和迦南的员工建立感情。迦南的庄主——“疯狂”的王方女士、以及葡萄园和酒窖的所有员工都热情地欢迎了我,更不用说那里种类繁多的农场动物了。在那里我有种宾至如归的感觉,一起享受着美餐和活动,包括烧烤。迦南的菜园让我佩服,完全自给自足。厨房里大部分的食材,包括肉类和蔬菜,都是酒庄自产的。
       我很幸运地将返程延迟,将采摘推迟到了10月。在我们预定的采摘日期的前一周,一场狂风暴雨席卷了宁夏,我们不免有些担心,但实际采摘的时候,葡萄看起来很好,只是狂风摧残造成了部分损失。
 
安德烈在车间工作
 
       在异国酿酒,尤其还有语言障碍,的确会带来一些挑战。幸好第一次在宁夏酿酒我没有遇到大麻烦。当运送葡萄的卡车驱动杆掉落时,我们也没有过于担心,一两个小时的路边维修后卡车重新上路,返回酒庄。由于之前的延迟我们工作到了深夜,最后一箱葡萄被倒在分拣台上时已是晚上十点左右,清理工作在午夜之前完成。这绝对是团队的力量,所有的员工包括厨师都帮忙分拣。夜晚天气寒冷,我们所有人都已感疲惫,我非常感谢在场所有人的辛勤付出,帮我完成葡萄酒酿造初始阶段的工作。
       有了宁夏所有主要酒厂供给和酒桶公司的参与,酿酒比我想象的要顺利得多。我想要任何一种添加物,发条微信就搞定了。当然,迦南酒庄配备了所有装备,包括齐全的现代化酒庄中都有的泵、软管、配件、供热和冷却设备。
       在我完成葡萄装罐,开始发酵之后,我很幸运地能够帮助迦南完成他们自己的榨季工作。人们都说2015年对宁夏酿酒来说相对困难,由于灰霉病和霉变,分拣台用的频率变高。但在酿酒过程中进行精细管理,最终还是能收获优质的葡萄酒。
       2016年4月和9月,我又来到了宁夏,分别在春季给葡萄酒换桶,在榨季评估一年的进度。我对葡萄酒的结果非常满意,也很感谢迦南在我不在期间对葡萄酒的悉心照料。
       在我看来,宁夏乃至中国的葡萄酒行业都将有一个美好的未来。然而宁夏的发展也并非一帆风顺。为其迅速扩张的葡萄园寻找市场是其中的一个挑战,在恶劣的沙漠环境中种植葡萄是另一个挑战。中国人均餐桌葡萄酒消费的增长必然带来葡萄酒生产的增加;当地葡萄种植者的专业知识也将帮助管理新的葡萄园。我认为宁夏比中国其他任何地区都更容易应对这些挑战。在不久的将来,它将成为得到世界高度评价的葡萄酒产区。
       宁夏葡萄酒酿酒师挑战赛的创立是使我有信心的一个绝佳例子。邀请48位国际酿酒师来宁夏,让他们聚在一起酿造葡萄酒,然后回国将自己的经历与他人分享,向世界宣传宁夏的葡萄酒,宣传宁夏。作为一个后起之秀,宁夏展示了成功所需的伟大远见。 
 
Andrew Ian Powley is from New Zealand. Since obtaining his Bachelor Degree in Biotechnology from Massey University (New Zealand), he has worked as a winemaker in New Zealand, Australia, the UK, the US and China. He started his career in wine industry in 2001 and moved to Hong Kong in 2011, where he took on the role of winemaker for Portrait Winery. Currently, he is the Winemaker and Production Manager at Telford International Company Limited, where he oversees the importation and bottling of wine products from around the globe.  
 
Work in Ningxia Kanaan Winery
 
I was really excited to be accepted into the NWC for a number of reasons. Firstly, it was great to be returning to a region of China that I had first visited almost 30 years ago. In 1988 when I was ten years old, I lived for one year in neighboring Gansu province where my parents were teachers. I never really had the opportunity to return until I heard about the NWC. Secondly, since having relocated to Hong Kong in 2011, whilst I am still working in the wine industry running a bottling line, I only get to work with imported finished wines. I was anxious to get back into the vineyards and to start making wine again. 
The challenge of making wine in a new region with such a different landscape, climate, and culture was also a really exciting prospect.
Having already experienced the summer and winter seasons during my time in Gansu province, upon landing in Yinchuan the familiarity of the desert landscape and climate was immediately evident to me. I was grateful to be arriving in September which is probably the most pleasant time of year in Ningxia. With the change of seasons rapidly approaching, warm dry days followed by cool nights result in near perfect conditions for maturing wine grapes. 
After settling in and meeting our fellow competitors, we had the opportunity to visit some local vineyards and wineries on a tour arranged by the challenge organizers. First up was the impressive Chateau Changyu Moser XV with its grand entrance, water features, and museum. The huge tank farm and production areas at Changyu were obviously built with a confidence in the continued growth of Chinese wines and Ningxia wines in particular.
In contrast to the vast Chateau Changyu, another winery we visited on our tour was the equally impressive, but slightly more serene Chateau Yuanshi. Smaller in size, and with buildings constructed largely out of local stone, entering this winery revealed a maze of gardens, barrel halls, fermentation rooms, bottled wine cellars and function areas. Having only tried a limited amount of Ningxia wine up until this point, our wine tasting at Yuanshi really opened my eyes to the quality of wines that can be produced in this area. From delicately floral white wines to powerful Cabernets, these wines show the potential to rival wines from any region. 
The one constant I observed during the first few days I had touring around the Ningxia region was the amount of construction going on, despite the fact it was harvest time. During our tours, most of the white wines had already been processed and were fermenting in tank, and the red varieties were starting to be harvested. All the while most of the facilities that we visited had some amount of building works in progress. Ranging from minor decorative works on building facades, to huge concrete slabs being poured, to the welding of stainless steel process equipment. It certainly showcased the rate of growth happening in the Ningxia region.  
After a few days of touring around, it was time for each competitor to head off to their respective host winery and to begin making their wines. I considered myself very fortunate to have been paired up with Kanaan Winery, located to the west of Yinchuan under the backdrop of the Helen Mountains. Walking into Kanaan winery for the first time, I knew immediately that it was a facility designed with both practicality and aesthetics in mind. From a winemaker’s perspective, I was relieved to see that all the processes at Kanaan, from fruit receival, to barrel filling, to bottling could be achieved with ease and without compromising wine quality. 
There was a few days of lag time in between my arrival at Kanaan and when my harvest began. This allowed me to bond with the entire Kanaan staff. Kanaan owner Ms. “Crazy” Fang Wang provided a warm welcome, as did all the vineyard and cellar staff, not to mention the plethora of farmyard animals kept on site. I certainly was made to feel welcome and I enjoyed the meals and activities we shared together – including a few after work toasting sessions. I was also impressed by Kanaan’s vegetable gardens and the sense of self sufficiency it gave. It seemed that most of the offerings from the kitchen were harvested on site – both meat and vegetable.   
I was fortunate to be able to delay my return trip in order to push out my harvest date well into October. The huge wind and rain storm that ripped through Yinchuan a week before our scheduled pick date caused some concern, but the grapes looked good come harvest time, despite some amount of wind damage.
Making wine in a foreign country, especially with language barriers, can make for some challenges. There were however no major problems encountered during my first vintage in Ningxia. Even when the driveshaft fell off the truck transporting my grapes, no one seemed too concerned. An hour or two of road side repairs saw us get the truck back on the road and off to the winery. This slight delay saw us working late into the night, with the final bin being dumped onto the sorting table at around 10pm, and the cleanup finished before midnight. It was a real team effort, with the entire staff, including the cooks, helping to sort the fruit. Despite the very cold conditions encountered late into the night, and the fatigue I am sure we all felt, I was grateful for the hard work everyone put in to help with the initial stages of my wine. 
With all the major winery supply and barrel companies being represented in Ningxia, winemaking was a lot smoother than I was anticipating. Any wine addition that I needed was only a wechat message away. And of course Kanaan winery was equipped with all the pumps, hoses, fittings, heating, and cooling capabilities that are found in all modern well equipped wineries.
Once my grapes were in tank and fermenting away, I was lucky to be able to assist Kanaan with their own harvest. By all accounts 2015 proved to be a relatively difficult vintage for Ningxia. Some botrytis and mildew pressures meant the sorting tables were put to intense usage, but with the careful management I saw in action during vintage, some really good wines were the result.
Further visits in April and September 2016 were undertaken in order to barrel down my wine in spring, and to assess the progress a year on from harvest. I was extremely happy with the resulting wine, and the care Kanaan took of it in my absence. 
The future in my opinion looks bright for both Ningxia and the Chinese wine industries in general. Growth in Ningxia won’t be without its challenges however. Finding new markets for its rapid vineyard expansion is one challenge. The difficulties faced when farming in such a harsh desert environments is another. The growing per-capita consumption of table wines in China will almost certainly account for the additional volumes being produced, and the expertise of the local grape growers will be developing at a similar rate to successfully manage these new plantings. I feel that Ningxia, maybe more so than other Chinese regions, is in a good position to overcome these challenges, and in the near future it will be a region producing wines highly regarded and sort after the world over. 
The creation of the NWC is a great example of why I believe this to be so. Inviting 47 international winemakers to Ningxia, having them congregate and make wine here, then return home to share their individual experiences with the people they meet will spread the word about Ningxia wine, and the region as a destination. It shows great foresight into what is needed to succeed as a new and up and coming region. 
 
(文 安德烈•伊恩•波利 图 宁夏回族自治区外国专家局)
 
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