On the nose, the Pretty Pony displays bright and forward blackberry and currant fruit aromas, which give way to an elegant and refined palate, with finely structured tannins. We are not the only admirers of this wine, as the 2013 vintage picked up the Decanter Asia Wine Awards’ Regional Trophy for Ningxia in 2015, proof that Fang may not be so crazy after all.
Considered one of the top wineries in China, Kanaan is located at the foot of the Helan Mountains in Ningxia, which is about 1,000 km west of Beijing. Kanaan means ‘the land of milk and honey’, signifying the hope for Ningxia to be one of China’s leading regions for the production of fine wine. The winery was established in 2011 by Fang Wang, daughter of Wang Feng Yu, a pioneer of viticulture in Ningxia. Fang is nicknamed ‘Crazy Fang’ for her boldness to start a winery with no prior experience, and for embarking on the near impossible mission of growing Riesling in Ningxia.
Kanaan has 16.8 hectares of vineyard, of which 1.3 hectares are planted with Riesling. Due to the sandy soils, vines are planted on their own roots as there is no need for protection against phylloxera. The vines are trained in the upturned ‘L’ training system, where the cordon is kept close to the ground to facilitate vine burial. All vineyard work is done by hand as this training system is not suitable for mechanisation.