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Bordeaux approves official Chinese names

Bordeaux's classified growths have approved the first-ever standardised Chinese translation of their names, Decanter.com can exclusively reveal.

Auction house Christie’s has unveiled an official translation of each of the 61 chateaux in the 1855 classification, after 12 months of collaboration with the Medoc estates.

Simon Tam, head of wine, China, for Christie’s told decanter.com: ‘We have written confirmation and agreements from all but three or four chateaux that these Chinese translations are the agreed names for the whole Chinese speaking world.

‘We are trying to make wine as accessible as possible for our clients. Language is the first barrier and we are trying to break down those barriers,’ he added.

Christie’s staff have worked with chateaux to agree on Chinese translations for their estate while others already had Chinese names. However, some chateaux including Cos d’Estournel have opted not to take a Chinese name.

The Chinese translations have been published on a poster, which will be unveiled to the Bordeaux trade during the 2012 En Primeur week.

The posters will also be distributed to Chinese clients and journalists ‘to ensure the chateaux will be referred to properly,’ said Tam.

It is too early to tell whether the names will be embraced by other auction houses and the wider wine trade but Tam added, ‘I would like to think that the hard work has been done, and it will be adopted widely.’

Christie’s hopes to produce similar translations for producers in Sauternes, Bordeaux’s right bank and Burgundy in the future.

Written by Rebecca Gibb

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