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French fine wines arrive in China by train

The French Prime Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, was in China last week where he had time to greet the arrival of a direct freight train that arrived from Lyon loaded with thousands of bottles of fine wines.

The train carried more than 30 different wines from 18 wineries including Château Guiraud, Domaine de Chevalier and Ruinart Champagne.

The wine cargo included reds, whites, sweet wines, Champagne and rosé worth about RMB 10 million (US$1.45 million), according to Wuhan Asia-Europe Logistics, the operator of international freights between Wuhan, capital of China’s central Hubei province, and Europe.

The train, which first started its operation last year as part of China’s ‘New Silk Road’ project, travels directly between Lyon and Wuhan and is expected to bring in more Bordeaux wines to China in the future.

The new route “provides solid support to speed up French wine imports to China, and provides Chinese customers a steady and constant source to drink originally bottled and authentic French wines,” the freight company said.

En route the wines are kept in a stable environment with the temperature being controlled at 15 degrees Celsius and humidity at 70%, it added. 

The journey only took 15 days, compared with the average time of 35 days it normally takes to ship wines from France to China.

In addition to wines, the train was also carrying French automobile parts and other products.

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