Yao Ming Launches Luxury Wine Line

November 27, 2011

One of the fastest growing wine markets in the world lies in China and famed ex-NBA player Yao Ming looks to bring good wine to his fellow countrymen. He has created his own California winery, named Yao Family Wines, targeted exclusively at the Chinese market. 

Ming retired from the NBA recently and has returned to live in Shanghai. During his time in the United States, he was inspired to learn more about wine from fellow player Dikembe Mutombo. Now, his first 5,000 case release, named simply Yao Ming, will go on sale in China for 1,775 yuan (US $289) a bottle. The wine uses 2009 cabernet sauvignon grapes from Napa Valley. A more limited release, Yao Family Reserve, will be released later this year in a 500 case batch. 

French beverage giant Pernod Ricard SA will distribute the wine. "I really like Napa Valley," Ming said. "California represents vacation, casual [living], sunshine—everything related to a good quality of life."

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