Emma Gao
General Manager & Winemaker
Silver Heights Vineyard

Silver Heights Vineyard - 

A Pioneering Chinese Family – Making Natural Artisanal Wines 

Since 1997, Mr. Gao Lin started cultivating grapes in Ningxia, learning about the region’s ideal conditions for viticulture.  The following year, he traveled to France and Germany to further study modern trends in viticulture technology and alcohol production. Sending his daughter Yuan Gao to Bordeaux, she received her Oenology degree (becoming among China’s first women to earn this credential). Maturing her understanding of traditional French wine production, she worked at Chateau Calon Segur and visited additional wine regions across Europe. Finally returning to her home in Yinchuan, she and her father were ready to establish one of China’s most influential artisanal wineries 

Silver Heights Vineyard began producing its first wines in 2007, from a small family plot on the edge of the city. In the beginning days, father and daughter needed to train local farmers to use organic techniques and minimal intervention winemaking.  Working closely with different vineyard sites, the winery was able to source grapes from excellent soils covering 600 mu. Quickly garnering international media and top scores from leading wine critics, Silver Heights was featured in the World Atlas of Wine, focusing the world attention on China’s new pre-eminent wine region. By 2014 the winery continued its expansion to acquire its 1000mu estate in the Helan Mountain Foothills.

Leading by example, the winery embraces a philosophy of sustainability: empowering local people with positive working conditions, continued economic development and sharing a respect for the environment. Since 2017, Silver Heights started its conversion to Biodynamics. The mission is to cultivate vines and wines in harmony with the seasons, nurturing the transformations that nature brings forth. Striving for a healthy ecosystem, the estate integrates its different animals into the daily work (with Shanyang, horses, donkeys and chickens), all contributing to maintaining fertile composts that keep the soils healthy, the vineyards energized, and every bottle full of life. 

As General Manager & Winemaker, Yuan Gao continues to travel the world as an ambassador for her winery and China’s Wine Renaissance. Silver Heights wines are consistently ranked among the country’s best examples for family crafted, world-class wines. The critical acclaim has helped position the wines globally, sold in over 12 different countries and featured in annual trade shows.  Yuan Gao continues to plan for the future, gradually teaching the next generation to understand the family business. Her daughter is already applying for school in France and learning the family craft.


Event Introduction
 · 06/15 (Day 2)
Keep Alcohol Engaging
Media Center (North) - Level 2 of North Lobby west
Strategy & New Trend
The New Trends in Products and Channels

E-commerce, social media, contextual consumption, and the rise of a younger generation of drinkers have all redefined how wine is distributed, led to a fragmentation of channels, and required products to be updated and iterated more quickly to meet current market demands.

Link to agenda