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29 May 2012

Debra Meiburg MW Meets the Winemaker 123: Charles Johnston, Helena View Winery

Debra catches up with Charles Johnston of Helena View Winery, located in the Calistoga region of California, which was formed back in 1992 as a weekend project of building the winery and growing grapes for Charles. Charles tells Debra how they’ve been certified organic since 1992 and how important he believes this is, as well as the eco-friendly aspect of the winery itself.

They go onto discuss Charles’ China connection, both in the past with his role of building the Sunkist and citrus growers business after he finished graduate school, then again more recently when he joined the Shandong Wiehai
Weal Wine Company in 2006, a joint Sino-American venture. They discuss China’s domestic production in the future (including Debra’s question – will China change the world?), where Charles feels the future lies, and what inherent changes the Chinese wine industry needs to make in order make its wine competitive.

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