South Korean media said that when it comes to China's liquor, they usually think of the liquor represented by Maotai. The recently popular mutton kebab in South Korea may also remind people of China's Tsingtao beer, but in fact, China is still a big wine country. According to data released by the international organization for grape and wine (OIV), China's wine production last year was 1.15 billion liters, ranking sixth in the world.
According to a report on the website of South Korea's Central Daily on July 19, grape cultivation is the basis for China to become a major wine country. Since 2014, China's grape cultivation has surpassed France, ranking second in the world, second only to Spain.
According to the report, the history of producing French authentic wine in China can be traced back to 125 years ago. In 1892, Zhang Bishi, an overseas Chinese capitalist who accumulated a great deal of wealth through business in Southeast Asia, invested 3 million liang of silver to set up a wine making company in Yantai City, Shandong Province, and created a pioneer in wine production in China. Zhang Bishi introduced 120 grape seedlings from France, improved the varieties repeatedly, and hired the first-class European wine technicians. Soon, Yantai's unique grape variety, known as snake dragon ball, was cultivated. The Cabernet dry red wine, which was put into production in 1931, has a long aftertaste with aromas of red berries and cherries, and has become the synonym of Changyu Wine. Changyu Wine is sold to 28 countries and regions around the world, and also supplied to the British royal family. It is also the wine provided by the world's major airlines in the first-class plane.
China's first winery has become a museum of grapes. The wine warehouse, which has not yet been put into the market, can store 30000 bottles of wine, weighing up to 15 tons. This is the largest oak barrel in Asia, telling the history of Changyu. When Sun Yat-sen visited the site in 1912, the commentator said, "the taste is no less than that of French wine", and his calligraphy was posted in the museum. Yu Bo, curator of the museum, said that in 1915, four products, including wine and brandy, were exhibited at the Panama world expo and won the gold medal. A delegation headed by Zhang Bishi visited the White House on the way home and presented wine to Woodrow Wilson, then president of the United States, a record that still remains.
According to the report, Yantai has been the base of Chinese wine since ancient times. One out of every three bottles of Chinese wine is produced in Yantai. Six of China's top ten wine companies, including Changyu, great wall and Weilong, have set up production bases in Yantai. "Zhang Bishi, an overseas Chinese from Guangdong Province, chose Yantai from the very beginning because he believed that Yantai is located in the same latitude as Bordeaux, France, with similar land and climate, and suitable for planting grapes," said Yu Bo. Recently, enterprises from France, the United States, Australia and other wine hometown also came here to set up wineries. There are more than 20 wineries such as Zhangyu Castel winery, which is jointly established by Zhangyu company and Castel brothers of France, in the hilly area about 100 kilometers along the Yellow Sea coast.
However, Chinese wine companies led by Zhang Yu still have a long way to go, the report said. The most important thing at present is to remain invincible in the increasingly fierce competition with imported wine. Young Chinese prefer French or Australian wine with outstanding cost performance.