Mayor Pushes Oakland Wines in China

On her trip to China, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan brought some local wines with her.

By Chris Roberts
|  Wednesday, May 18, 2011  |  Updated 3:35 PM PDT
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Cramming San Francisco and Napa Into 48 Hours

They were pouring Oakland vintage in China.

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Much comes to mind when considering the city of Oakland, but fine wines?

The town can indeed produce terrific tannins, as folks in China know full well, thanks to the salesmanship of Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, who brought several cases of wines produced by Oakland boutique wineries on a recent trade trip there.

Pushing the Port of Oakland was the main focus of the trip, but Quan made sure not to waste an opportunity in Hong Kong to push East Bay wines. The California Vintage wine bar in Hong Kong, for example, sells Napa and Sonoma vintages but none from Oakland. They may now, after Quan came by to personally drop off a case, according to the Oakland Tribune.

A group of Hong Kong investors and businesspeople sampled the local grape juice produced by Oakland wineries JC Cellars, Dashe and Urban Legend, after a few bottles were uncorked at a private meeting. How’d they go down?

"They really liked the red wines," Quan said, according to the Oakland Tribune. "It was very clear that those red wines were the favorites."

Most of what U.S. produce is shipped overseas goes to China. The Port of Oakland handles about 90 percent of the California wine exports to China, which is a growing market for red wines. And, if Quan is successful, red wines from Oakland.  

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