The first of a chain of Bordeaux-only wine bars opened last weekend in Shanghai.
The Burdigala Bordeaux Wine Bar – Burdigala was the Roman name for Bordeaux – is in the Jing’an district of Shanghai, one of the city’s most densely populated areas, and home to many of its wealthiest expats.
A second Shanghai bar is due to open in the Luwan district at the end of summer 2012, with the possibility of a third next year.
Further bars are due in New York, London, Berlin, Tokyo and Hong Kong on a franchise basis.
The openings are part of the Bordeaux Tomorrow plan to increase the presence of the region in its key export markets – the exporting of the Fête le Vin concept to both Hong Kong and Dalian in China is part of the same campaign.
Burdigala Wine Bar is run as a partnership between the Bordeaux wine bureau (the CIVB) and Shanghai-based private investor Franck Boudot, who told Decanter.com the focus would not be on ‘the exclusive names of Bordeaux’.
‘There are already plenty of wine stores in Shanghai which do that. We are about accessible Bordeaux. And I want to offer a place for travelling chateaux to hold their meetings and tastings.’
He said over 100 people attended the opening, including Jean Moueix, owner of negociants Groupe Duclot and Chateau Petrus.
The bar stocks 48 Bordeaux chateaux, with plans to move up to 100 over the next few months. Around two-thirds of the 60 Bordeaux appellations are represented, across the full range of red, white, rosé, clairet, sweet and sparkling crémant, all by the bottle or glass. The cellars can hold up to 2,500 bottles, and space is available for clients to also store 12 bottles of their private wines.
All signage is in English and Chinese, with wine classified and colour-coded according to its principal grape variety.
Glasses are priced from €4.50 upwards, with bottles between €19 and €55.
Customers will also be able to fill their own bottles to take away, from barrels containing an AOC Bordeaux and an AOC Francs Cotes de Bordeaux.
Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux