I visited Shu-Sheng Leisure Domain ( [樹生休閒酒莊, http://www.shu-sheug.com.tw/) a few days ago after reading celebratory articles about their wine that won a French prize and the Waipu (外埔) area ("[…] can someday be developed into a world-class wine that can compete with Bordeaux […]").
I had a long conversation with the lady owner about the history of the domain and their grapes. Passionate and knowledgeable, nothing to say about it (although she had no idea of what Prosecco is poor UNESCO World Heritage ), but their products were appalling.
Taken straight out of the fridge and served in mini plastic cups for tasting, the red “wines” are nothing more than the typical over-sweet or over-sour alcoholic grape juices that we find on the table at wedding banquets. I trust that they are genuinely made with local grapes, but they have nothing in common with what is universally intended as “red wine”. There was a moment of embarrassment when I asked “so after these “peculiar” flavours, where are the reds?” . The award-winning piece is not a red, but actually a dessert wine (hence sweeter and slightly stronger in alcohol percentage), which is the only product that can be compared to dessert wines from other countries, if it wasn’t for the insane price tag (3,000+ NTD). I could buy at least three equally good or even better bottles of imported dessert wines here for that amount.
Sorry for the blunt review. I swear this is not meant to be a complaint or a “don’t go there” post. I am genuinely curious to hear your views/experiences in this field. Are wine producers just trying to satisfy the palate of the average Taiwanese? Or are weather/soil conditions really not suitable for “legit” wines, as the lady owner claimed? Are high prices really the inevitable result of small-scale production?