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Kelly Carter
 
February 29, 2016 | Kelly Carter

Former NBA Star Yao Ming Opens Wine Tasting Room In St. Helena

The 7-foot-6 ex-Houston Rocket center caused quite the stir when he stopped by the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena for Premiere Napa Valley’s barrel tasting and auction, which raised $5 million for the Napa Valley Vintners… 

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Time Posted: Feb 29, 2016 at 1:25 PM
Jim boyce
 
February 29, 2016 | Jim boyce

Center stage | Former NBA star Yao Ming opens tasting room in Napa Valley

Former NBA star and current celebrity wine brand owner Yao Ming opened a tasting room today in St. Helena in Napa Valley.… 

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Time Posted: Feb 29, 2016 at 1:20 PM
Marty James
 
February 29, 2016 | Marty James

Yao Ming in St Helena: Basketball star turned vintner opens a new tasting room

It was during his years playing basketball as a 7-foot-6 center for the Houston Rockets of the NBA that Yao Ming, who is from Shanghai, China, became interested in wine...

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Time Posted: Feb 29, 2016 at 1:15 PM
Marty James, Napa Valley Register
 

Yao Ming in St Helena: Basketball star turned vintner opens a new tasting room

ST. HELENA – It was during his years playing basketball as a 7-foot-6 center for the Houston Rockets of the NBA that Yao Ming, who is from Shanghai, China, became interested in wine.

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Time Posted: Feb 26, 2016 at 2:03 PM
Great Wine News
 
April 13, 2014 | Great Wine News

Wine's New Big Man

Yao Ming set all types of records in the NBA. Not only was he a history maker, he took the nation of China along for the ride. Now retired from the game of basketball, Yao Ming takes to another court, that of the wine world and new fans are starting to cheer him on.

How does it feel to have Robert Parker rate your wine so highly?

We are extremely proud to receive such generous feedback from world-renowned wine critic, Robert Parker. These wines are made with great passion and dedication and it is exciting to be recognized for our efforts.

In sports you work the court, what kind of team player are you in the vineyard?

We have a great team at Yao Family Wines and just like in sports, success comes when all teammates are passionate and contribute. Our winemaker, Tom Hinde brings tremendous knowledge of the industry and his winemaking experience makes him a vital part of the team. I have a distinct style and taste preference that defines our wines and he helps translate that in the bottle. My knowledge of wine has increased tremendously and Tom has taught me a great deal about the winemaking process. I think it’s fair to say that we are both passionate and dedicated players.

When did you decide that wine would become your passion?

When I realized that I might not be able to play basketball much longer, I began to think about things I would enjoy when I was finished playing. I knew about Napa Valley wine because of my time in the US; while I was on the road with the Houston Rockets the players would go out to dinner together and I tasted some of the finest Napa Valley wine at dinners with my teammates. They have many great steakhouses in Houston, and we often enjoyed Cabernet Sauvignon with a big Texas steak. China was also discovering fine wine at that time, but mostly French wines, so I felt I could help introduce people to something new that would truly enhance their lives.

Do you see yourself opening a vineyard in China?

Napa Valley wines are the wines that I enjoy the most, and I wanted to bring a taste of that back home to China. I want to make wines I am proud of, and to share them with the Chinese people, but also share the culture of Napa Valley; the traditions of enjoying wine with food, and bringing family and friends together. Currently, our plan is to focus on making the best wines we can possibly make from Napa Valley, the place that inspired me.

How do you think you could change the wine world?

The Chinese are developing their taste for world-class wine, and while French wines have made a big impression, they are just starting to discover wines from California. Chinese wine drinkers are eager to learn about wine, and are thirsty for knowledge. To be in a position to help people in China learn more about Napa Valley is very exciting. For me, wine has been about discovery and enjoyment. Not only do Chinese consumers want to enjoy wine, but they want to understand it. I am the same way. I hope to spark an interest in Napa Valley and the lifestyle that accompanies it. To me, wine encourages people to slow down, come together and enjoy life.

Time Posted: Apr 13, 2014 at 6:22 PM
Great Wine News
 
December 1, 2013 | Great Wine News

NBA Legend Maker to Wine Maker

How does it feel to have Robert Parker rate your wine so highly?

We are extremely proud to receive such generous feedback from world-renowned wine critic, Robert Parker. These wines are made with great passion and dedication and it is exciting to be recognized for our efforts.

In sports you work the court, what kind of team player are you in the vineyard?

We have a great team at Yao Family Wines and just like in sports, success comes when all teammates are passionate and contribute. Our winemaker, Tom Hinde brings tremendous knowledge of the industry and his winemaking experience makes him a vital part of the team.

I have a distinct style and taste preference that defines our wines and he helps translate that in the bottle. My knowledge of wine has increased tremendously and Tom has taught me a great deal about the winemaking process. I think it’s fair to say that we are both passionate and dedicated players.

When did you decide that wine would become your passion?

When I realized that I might not be able to play basketball much longer, I began to think about things I would enjoy when I was finished playing. I knew about Napa Valley wine because of my time in the US; while I was on the road with the Houston Rockets the players would go out to dinner together and I tasted some of the finest Napa Valley wine at dinners with my teammates.

They have many great steakhouses in Houston, and we often enjoyed Cabernet Sauvignon with a big Texas steak. China was also discovering fine wine at that time, but mostly French wines, so I felt I could help introduce people to something new that would truly enhance their lives.

Will you open a vineyard in China?

Napa Valley wines are the wines that I enjoy the most, and I wanted to bring a taste of that back home to China. I want to make wines I am proud of, and to share them with the Chinese people, but also share the culture of Napa Valley; the traditions of enjoying wine with food, and bringing family and friends together. Currently, our plan is to focus on making the best wines we can possibly make from Napa Valley, the place that inspired me.

How do you think you will change the wine world?

The Chinese are developing their taste for world-class wine, and while French wines have made a big impression, they are just starting to discover wines from California. Chinese wine drinkers are eager to learn about wine, and are thirsty for knowledge. To be in a position to help people in China learn more about Napa Valley is very exciting.

For me, wine has been about discovery and enjoyment. Not only do Chinese consumers want to enjoy wine, but they want to understand it. I am the same way. I hope to spark an interest in Napa Valley and the lifestyle that accompanies it. To me, wine encourages people to slow down, come together and enjoy life.

Time Posted: Dec 1, 2013 at 6:32 PM
Mark Berman, Fox 26 Houston
 
November 16, 2013 | Mark Berman, Fox 26 Houston

Yao Ming launches 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

A select group of customers at Spec’s downtown liquor store witnessed the launch of Yao Ming’s 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon at Spec’s. With the former Rockets star autographing bottles from the Yao Ming family of wines. Selling for $100 per bottle, Yao’s Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, is one of three labels being produced under Yao’s banner.

Time Posted: Nov 16, 2013 at 6:39 PM