A French wine culture centre is planned for Beijing and may be open before the end of this year.
French politicians have met several times – most recently yesterday – with a delegation of Chinese private investors, according to French newspaper Sud Ouest.
Hosted by the minister for economic recovery Patrick Devedjian and several Bordeaux MPs, the group toured Bordeaux and environs, visiting a co-operative in St Emilion and The Winery in Arsac, a wine tourism venue owned by Philippe Raoux.
Ya Ding, who heads an association that promotes Franco-Chinese cultural relations, said the Chinese consortium hoped to launch an “embassy with a mission to explain the world of wine to the Chinese general public”.
Ding also said the group sought advice and ideas, rather than funding – and emphasised the importance of support from the French authorities to help stem the problem of endemic counterfeiting, which is beginning to take its toll on the reputation of French wine.
The centre would initially have a footprint of 1,000 square metres, and stock DOC wines.
Written by Maggie Rosen