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Wednesday 25 January 2023

Australian opportunity for Chinese winemaker

Ballandean Estate, one of the longest-established wineries in Queensland's Granite Belt, has appointed a new Chinese-born winemaker.

The family-owned winery this week unveiled 32-year-old Boxi Zhen to succeed Dylan Rhymer, who departed late last year after 22 year in the role.

Zhen has previous experience at both Bird in Hand in the Adelaide Hills and at Chateau Nine Peaks in Qingdao.

Fourth-generation vigneron Leeanne Puglisi-Gangemi said: “Boxi’s experience is a perfect alignment with our unique terroir and cool climate. He will continue our delivery of delectable, varietal, regional wines of character - and inject some fresh ideas.

“As a flying winemaker, Boxi has followed vintages around the world, from the Napa Valley to China, South Australia and now the Granite Belt.

“We hope that his minimal intervention approach and fresh perspective will underpin the Granite Belt as a region that continues to build on its momentum for new, exciting wines that suit our ever-changing climate.”

Zhen moved to Adelaide from China at the age of 24 to complete his Master of Viticulture & Oenology degree at the University of Adelaide. He also has a degree in Food Science,

“What attracted me to the Granite Belt was the chance to work with the incredible fruit produced here," he said.

"The high altitude and cool climate deliver intense flavours and such high acid, thanks to the slow ripening seasons and chilly nights.

“I want to bring out the best expression of the fruit and terroir, with minimal intervention and a mix of modern and traditional winemaking techniques."

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