THE BEST WAY TO BEIJING
From LAX, nonstop service to Beijing is offered on Air China, and connecting service (change of plane) is offered on All Nippon, JAL, United, Korean, American, China Eastern, Delta, Asiana, EVA and China Airlines. Restricted round-trip fares begin at $780, excluding taxes and fees.
To call the following numbers from the U.S., dial 011 (the international dialing code), 86 (country code for China) and the local number.
WHAT TO DO
California-based China Wine Tours, (888) 798-9133, http://www.chinawinetours.com, is planning a spring tour of vineyards and wineries in several Chinese provinces. It is also possible to arrange your own tour. Some Chinese vineyards have information posted in English on their websites, but you may want to call a travel agent for help — especially if you don't speak Mandarin.
Open 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Grace Vineyard, Dongjia Village, Shanxi Province; 354-644-9188, http://www.grace-vineyard.com. Tour reservations required. Open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. May-September; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. October-April.
Silver Heights, http://www.torreschina.com/SILVER/Silver_heights.html. In the Ningxia region not far from Mongolia.
Bolongbao Winery, 77 Fucheng Road, Beijing; 10-88139609, http://www.blbwine.com/english/Default.aspx
WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK
Maison Boulud, 23 Ch'ienmen, Qian Men Dong da Jie, Beijing; 10-65599200, http://www.maisonboulud.com. Bottles of Grace Vineyard wine from $64; dinner entrees from about $40.
Sir Elly's Restaurant, Peninsula Shanghai, No. 32 the Bund, 32 Zhongshan Dong Yi Road, Shanghai; 21-23272888, http://www.peninsula.com. Bottles of Grace Vineyard wine from $107; bottles of Silver Heights wine from $87; dinner entrees from about $40.
WHERE TO STAY
Jade Valley Wine & Resort, Yushan Town, Lantian County, Xi'an; 29-82955888, http://www.jadevalley.com.cn. Founded in 2000 outside the central city of Xi'an, this winery offers two-hour tours on request for $6. Accommodations in contemporary buildings (with rooms starting at $125 a night) are temporarily unavailable, but a receptionist says that may change as early as September. Call before visiting; the staff speaks some English.
TO LEARN MORE
Grape Wall of China, http://www.grapewallofchina.com