In 1999, the patriarch of Silver Heights, Gao Lin, had a premonition: one day, his home province of Ningxia would become a sought-after region for world-class wines. He began planting Cabernet Sauvignon vines sourced from France, and convinced his daughter, Gao Yuan (also known as Emma), to voyage abroad to Bordeaux and there to enroll in a Masters of Oenology program. While in France, Emma had the opportunity to intern at several historic Bordeaux wineries, including the world-famous Château Calon-Ségur.
After returning, Emma first briefly worked for Torres China, one of the country’s most prestigious wine importers. Her true passion, however, lay in winemaking, and she collaborated with her father and husband to begin making a very small amount of wine at her parents’ farm on the then-outskirts of Yinchuan. One day, out of the blue, Emma presented an unlabelled magnum bottle of her 100% Cabernet Sauvignon to Alberto Fernandez, the managing partner of Torres China. He was blown away, and immediately proposed the following to her: she would make wine full-time, and Torres would distribute it. Thus, Silver Heights was finally born. And that first wine? It became Emma’s Reserve, and has gone on to acclaim.
Since their first vintage in 2007 was met with astonished accolades by domestic and international wine experts, Gao Lin, Emma, and Thierry have continued to focus on making the highest quality wine possible and on developing the Ningxia terroir.
Emma Gao will take our guests at Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani on a virtual wine journey on February 11, 2022.