China’s oldest and largest winery, Changyu Pioneer Wine Co., is to build an international “wine city” in Yantai, Shandong province, at a cost of £600m.
An artistic impression of what the “wine city” will look like
The project, covering an area of 413 hectares, will be home to a national wine research institute and wine production centre.
It will also include grape planting areas, an international wine trading center, a European-style village, and two high-end châteaux.
The wine production centre will cover an area of 220,000 square metres, making it one of the world’s largest wine and brandy production plants.
The city – an amalgam of research, winemaking and tourism – is expected to be completed by 2016.
Changyu Pioneer Wine Co. was established in 1892, when cuttings from Bordeaux, Burgundy and Alsace were planted in Yantai.
In 2002, the company built its first French-style château – Château Changyu-Castel – in Yantai in cooperation with the Castel Group, planted primarily with Cabernet Gernischt – a red variety similar to Cabernet Franc.
It has since added a further five châteaux to its portfolio, three of which are operational.
The other three: Château Changyu Baron Balboa in Xinjiang Uygur, Château Changyu Moser XV in Ningxia Hui and Château Changyu Reina in Shaanxi province, are expected to open in the next six months.
In 2006, Changyu collaborated with Canadian company Aurora to build the largest ice wine château in the world near Huanlong Lake in Liaoning province. It has also expanded overseas, with Château Changyu Kely in New Zealand.
Changyu Pioneer Wine Co. is the tenth largest wine company in the world.