Surrounded by peaks, Ao Yun’s vineyards grow at altitudes up to 8,500 feet high.This extreme environment has posed many challenges for the estate, but has also contributed to the distinct flavor and texture defining its wines. The farmers who tend to the vines have worked these lands for centuries, adapting their techniques to the steep mountainsides. To respect time-honored local tradition, the grape harvest and winemaking at Ao Yun are still all done entirely by hand.
Unique terroir calls for a unique approach. Winemaker Maxence Dulou grew up in Le Sauternais, France and made wine in Burgundy, Bordeaux, Chile and South Africa prior to moving his family to China’s Yunnan Province to be Ao Yun’s Estate Manager. Passionate about exploring a new terroir and determined to unearth its fullest potential, he had to channel his creativity and adapt to the terrain, including choosing to ferment some of Ao Yun’s wine in porous baijiu clay jars.