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The soul of Indian Soil Carefully Crafted into our Boutique wines
Winemaker Brad Smith checks some barrels at Silenus winery in Napa Valley, recently bought by Chinese investors.

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By Kathy Chu, USA TODAY HONG KONG — As wine consumption skyrockets in the greater China region, Chinese businessmen are setting their sights on Napa.

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In that wine-rich valley, a growing number of businessmen are looking at vineyards for sale, or commissioning bulk wine to bottle in China. Their goal: boost exports of U.S. wines to the booming China and Hong Kong markets.

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Winemaker Brad Smith checks some barrels at Silenus winery in Napa Valley, recently bought by Chinese investors.

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, a growing number of businessmen are looking at vineyards for sale or commissioning bulk wine to bottle in China. Their goal: boost exports of U.S. wines to the booming China and Hong Kong markets.

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While wine consumption is still low in China compared with more mature markets such as the U.S., it's increasing dramatically. Over the past five years, China's consumption of U.S. wines has quadrupled, to 6.26 million liters in 2009, according to International Wine and Spirit Research, a U.K. consulting group.

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Copyright San Francisco Chronicle. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Craig Lee / Special to The Chronicle 2007 Blackbird Vineyards Illustration Napa Valley Proprietary Red Wine as seen in San Francisco, Calif., on October 20, 2010.

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It is logical that wine regions noted for Cabernet Sauvignon, such as Napa Valley, can also produce noteworthy blends of traditional red Bordeaux varietals. The Central Coast, Lake County, Mendocino and Paso Robles are increasingly throwing their hat into the ring.

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A hailstorm that struck the Sonoita area in August wiped out much of the 2010 harvest. Most wineries are sourcing grapes from other vineyards to make a 2010 release and waiting for their vines to come back in 2011.

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Callaghan Vineyards This is where the Arizona wine industry first received national attention. Kent Callaghan's wines are the first to get rated highly by national publications and experts. Kent Callaghan's wines are the first in the state to get rated highly by national publications and experts.

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Details: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Fridays-Sundays. $7, includes glass, or $3 with glass from another winery. 520-455-5322, callaghanvineyards.com .

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Passengers Peter Macon, Sarah Hollar, Angie Poe and Doug Poe celebrate Doug Poe's birthday on the Lake Norman Cottage wine tasting cruise.

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Captain Don Textor and passengers board their cruise boat for the Lake Norman Cottage wine tasting cruise.

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Judging by the number of wine bars in the area, Lake Norman residents love their vino. For a change in atmosphere, why not take your love to the source or out on the water? One local vineyard welcomes guests to wine tastings and music, while a new Davidson wine shop pairs its tastings with a cruise on the lake.

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