Kandy Xu :
We like to think of our company as an Ambassador, introducing the Australia Wine Culture into the Chinese marketplace. Because, Kandy Xu, the owner of Kensington Wines, has translated and published FOUR Australian wine books into Chinese, respectively as:
Heart and Soul – Australia's First Families of Wine
James Halliday's TOP 100 Australian Wineries
Barossa Shiraz - Discovering the tastes of the Barossa's Regions
Langton's Classification of Australian Wines VII
Kandy Xu, a founding member and Inaugural President of Chinese Wine Association of Australia(CWAA), which is a non-profit organization, founded by a group of volunteers and registered in April 2, 2012. Its primary purpose is to help Chinese wine traders, merchants and retailers, especially those exporting Australia wines to China, gain a better understanding of Australian wine and the history of the Australian wine industry.
Kandy XU has been awarded with WSET Diploma qualification in September 2014. She is a WSET Certified Educator and assessor too, taking the role as the President of the Chinese Wine Association of Australia and a committee member of the Wine Guild Victoria. She teaches WSET Chinese Course (Level 1-3) at Melbourne Wine House.
Kandy is keen to continue to focus on introducing Australian wine culture and wineries to Chinese consumers and we hope to gather talented people to work together to build a strong and healthy reputation for Australian Wines in China.
Kensington Winery is located in the picturesque Goulburn Valley of Victoria, just 90 minutes away from the Melbourne CBD and 15 km away from the rural city of Seymour. Seymour serves as a transport hub, serviced by the Hume Freeway, the Goulburn Valley Highway and the Melbourne-Sydney rail line, making it easily accessible from other parts of Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia.
The Kensington Winery residence, nestled in the foothills of the Strathbogie Ranges, was first built in the mid-1880s. It was rebuilt and expanded in the early 1900s and again in the 1940s. The development of vineyards in the surrounding area began as early as the 1860s. But as a result of the spread of the Phylloxera insect that began devastating Victoria vineyards in the late 1870s, many of the vines were ripped out and the land repurposed for grazing. The replanting of vineyards in the area began in the 1960s.
The 40-acre Rocky Passes Vineyard was first planted in 1994, adjacent to the Kensington Winery residence. A small winery, built especially for traditional hand-crafted winemaking was added in early 2000s. The existing cellar door was refurbished in 2015 and was officially opened by Australia’s most celebrated and respected wine critic James Halliday AM. The whole estate has been maintained in a very simple Australian country style. With its gently sloping vineyards, views of the Strathbogie Ranges, small winery, cellar door and food service, Rocky Passes is an ideal place to visit while holidaying in the Goulburn Valley or on the way to North Eastern Victoria, the Victorian snowfields or even New South Wales.
The unique soil profile, environment and climate make Rocky Passes Vineyard an ideal location for the growth of Shiraz and Vougnier. In addition to Rocky Passes, Kensington Wines sources grapes from contracted vineyards in the Goulburn Valley (20 acres), Heathcote (15 acres), King Valley (10 acres), Yarra Valley (5 acres) and the Swan Hill area (30 acres) – all in Victoria. In addition, Kensington has contracts with strategically selected vineyards in New South Wales (20 acres), and South Australia’s Coonawarra and Barossa Valley (10 acres). This diversity of vineyards allows Kensington Wines to deliver high-end wines with regional characteristics and high quality, medium-priced entry level wines to the market.
The most extensively planted grape varieties include Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Riesling, Moscato and Chardonnay, as well as the alternative varieties Tannat and Mourvèdre. Kensington Wines will gradually introduce more alternative grape varieties in response to the constantly changing market demand.
The total annual wine production of Kensington Wines averages a little under 300,000 litres, with a range of styles including sparkling, fortified, rose, sweet white, dry white, fruity dry red and premium red wines. Kensington Wines has developed a network of distributors covering nearly 30 cities in China including Shanghai, Shenzhen, Wenzhou, Harbin, Jinan, Jiaxing and Xinjiang. During 2018, almost 300,000 bottles were shipped to China.