Where to find a pleasant wine-life that is so eye-catching and taste buds satisfying? A wine tour to Shandong is the answer.
Shandong’s Yantai and Qingdao are the largest wine production area in China, with a wine grape plant area of about 2,666 hectares which equals about half the plant area of the country. The climate and geographic location here, especially around the area of Yantai’s Penglai County, is very similar to that of Bordeaux, France, providing superb environment for the growth of high quality wine grapes. In 1987, Yantai was named as “International Grape and Wine City” by the International Vine and Wine Office (OIV). In 2006, Penglai won the affirmation of the OIV and was reputed as one of “the world’s seven major grape coasts”. The over 3,000 meters’ coast line of Shandong boasts vineyards and wine culture museums of various styles. Now, let’s start the Shandong Wine Tour and the following are the must-see attractions.
- Famous Chateaus in Shandong
Jointly built by Changyu Group and the French wine industry tycoon Castel Group, the chateau covers a land area of about 140 hectares with about 33 hectares vineyards that plant world famous grape varieties, including Cabernet Gernischt, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay, being a brewing base for Changyu premium wine. The chateau has European garden style, and the main building contrasts finely with the vine yard and grape corridor, making you feel as if wandering in the fantastic French chateau.
Jointly built by COFCO and Shandong Longhua Investment Co., Ltd., the chateau integrates wine production, R & D and themed club as a whole. It has grape plantation base of about 400 hectares and underground cellar of 8,000 square meters, with annual wine production reaching 3,000 tons. While ingeniously retaining the old tradition that wines were dependent on natural resources, the chateau also introduces grape seedlings grafting, steel tube fermentation and other brewing technology, and this practice embodies the perfect combination of nature and manpower, which coincides with Chinese concept of the “harmony between man and nature”. The Phoenix Lake surrounding the chateau, together with the primeval forest, wetland and stud farm on the west of the lake, makes the chateau more ecologically attractive.
Established by the British man, Mr. Parry, in 1985, the chateau is backed by Mount Laoshan and faces the sea. With complete facilities, the chateau incorporates grape plantation and brewing, wine culture promotion and tourism. The brewed wine has won great honor in France. The whole chateau is green, serene and beautiful, and the over-2,000m wine corridor carved with inspirational poetry by ancient celebrities has become the unique charming landscape on Jiulong Slope.
- Wine Museums
Yantai Changyu Wine Culture Museum
The museum, converted from the large cellar of Changyu Wine Company, basically retains the antique and graceful architectural style of one century ago. The large cellar built in 1894 is 7 meters deep, being the sole large cellar of Asia at that time, and capable of accommodating thousands of oak barrels of wine. Integrated hall, history hall, modern hall, treasure hall and calligraphy hall comprehensively showcase the development of century-old Changyu. The autographs of Sun Yat-sen, Zhang Xueliang and other celebrities also add much splendor to the museum, among which, the autograph “Pincongliquan” (tasting good and sweet just like spring water) made by Sun Yat-sen is the most attractive. The reception and wine-tasting hall provides different kinds of Changyu wine for you to have a taste.
Qingdao Wine Museum
Qingdao Wine Museum is the first wine-themed underground museum. It is converted from a previous underground air-raid shelter works, covering an area of nearly 10,000 square meters. The 192-meter-long underground corridor built according to local conditions connects the several major exhibitions zone, namely, wine brewing knowledge zone, world-famous chateau relievo exhibition zone, wine knowledge zone, oil painting exhibition zone and so forth, which comprehensively display the development and evolution of wine by means of texts, images and physical objects. The vivid statues of wine god and wine boys scattered within the museum add more pastoral charm. The South Africa Pavilion and the U.S. Pavilion display different exotic styles. The best place for wine-tasting is the World Bar.
- Yantai International Wine Exposition
The annual Yantai International Wine Exposition (originally called Yantai International Wine Festival) is the sole international economic & trade festival in the wine industry of China. Here, you can not only see the most famous wines both at home and abroad, appreciate the display of winemaking and storage devices, wine labels and drinking vessels, and taste the premium wine accompanied with Chinese and Western cuisines, but also participate in several wine industry-related high-end forum to listen to the insights of different experts in wines. The 8th Yantai International Wine Exposition will be held from June 12-14, 2014.