Iron Horse Vineyards in Sebastopol will be shipping off to Beijing 880 cases of its “Year of the Dragon Chinese Cuvee” on January 10th.

The Chinese Cuvee was created to celebrate the Year of the Dragon, which begins January 23.

Smart move.  If you want to capture a culture, celebrate its celebrations. That’s right, uncork bubbly in its honor.

The cuvee’s label is red and yellow – the colors of the Chinese national flag, and it’s bilingual, with the character for dragon on a fan at the neck of the bottle. The winery retail price is $98 per bottle.

Here’s the back story:  The Chinese importer — Jaguar Wine Inc. — approached Iron Horse last year because it’s focusing on high quality wines from the U.S. and France. Its target consumers are mainly celebrities and entrepreneurs in China.

“Jaguar was  interested because the Clintons served Iron Horse at the State Dinner for President Jiang Zemin at the White House in 1997,” said Joy Sterling, CEO of the winery. “My family and I are very proud that we have created a top quality American Wine that is now an export success story and that we continue to develop our exclusive partnership with Jaguar in China.

Plans, according to Sterling, are to create a limited edition Chinese Cuvee each year.  “We are really looking forward to the Year of the Horse in 2014.”

U.S. vintners shipped $35.7 million of wine to China during the first eight months of this year, up 20 percent from a year ago, according to the Wine Institute. California wines make up 90 percent of those U.S. exports.

So far the U.S. exports have been driven by Napa, but Iron Horse’s Chinese Cuvee reveals that more Sonoma County wineries are in the game with smart moves of their own

Chinese bubbles — how could you go wrong with that?

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