Will Taiwanese wines ever make it?

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 […]").

President Chen Attends the Opening of a European-style Recreational Vineyard in Taichung County
Taichung red wine wins gold medal in France - Taipei Times

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 :roll_eyes: poor UNESCO World Heritage :cry:), 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?” :rofl: :rofl: . 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?

Thanks :smile:


Calling @Explant and @LeGuiShu ^^

Thanks for the info about the “award winning” wine. I was under the impression it’s a “real” world class dry red wine, not a desert wine. Too bad - it seems noone yet managed to make good Taiwanese red wine…


You pretty much need a dry, Mediterranean climate to grow good wine grapes. Taiwan is flipping humid and sub-tropical. I don’t know why they bother.
They do make decent whisky, though. I personally can’t stand the stuff, but it has garnered substantial international accolades.
And the Kaoliang liquor is supposedly world-class. But I’d rather drink methylated spirits. It tastes better.


I almost choked on my bubble tea when reading this :rofl: :rofl: Pretty much what I am thinking when old folks force me to down a few shots of (fine-quality, they say) Kaoliang.

Good point. I am not an expert in this field, so I was still wondering whether the mountainous areas out of Taichung/Nantou would make the difference or not.

This. Without being a “terroir” expert, it is hard to imagine the Taiwanese climate can produce any decent wine. Stick to whisky and craft beer.

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@LeGuiShu was writing that some areas on the mountains seem to have suitable climate. It would till be a niche, though.

It is already…isnt kaoliang just sorghum mash distilled with some of the tails left in? The heads too if its the $100 bottles :slight_smile:

I will be classist here. Only one place for good reds: Bordeaux region. The rest is plonk.

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The Spanish are proud of their reds and so the Chileans and the Argentinians

The Napa people too

It’s too bad I am so not a wine drinker living so close to Napa and Sonoma

But they add chemicals to modern wine
And that is boo how

Italy makes some decent plonk.


Only decent? I call that an insult.



Good red’s what? And who is he, anyway? The bloke from Shawshank Redemption?

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his beers and feet


aw… c’mon. TTL’s got some excellent assortment of, errr…, wine :slight_smile:

Uhm… Yeah :face_vomiting:


Am i the only one that finds wine gross?

I can accept some white wines, but I can’t say I enjoy the taste of wine.

so good… it gives you 31 benefits all mixed up into one plastic cup

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Beer here.
I only drank wine at company/client dinners (paid for by the company, of course).

How did you survive Italy?