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Wine train to China piled high with Bordeaux

Thousands of Bordeaux wines are preparing for a 16 day journey aboard a new train set to travel from France all the way over to China.

This story first appeared on DecanterChina.com

Fourteen thousand bottles of wines from Bordeaux are set to catch a direct train from Lyon to China this week, as part of China’s ‘New Silk Road’ strategy to launch more freight trains between its inland cities and Europe.

Thousands of wines are set to be sent from Europe to China by train in an ambitious new initiative partly funded by the Chinese government.

That’s according to Wuhan Asia-Europe Logistics (WAE), the operator of international rail freight transportation between Wuhan and Europe.

It takes 16 days for the journey, which crosses Eastern Europe and traverses Russia, a spokesperson from WAE told DecanterChina.com.

The wine train route to China.

The wine train route to China. Credit: WAE Logistics.

Currently the Wuhan-Lyon service runs twice a week and Lyon-Wuhan service runs once a week.

Currently, it takes on average 35 days for wines to be shipped from Bordeaux to Shanghai by sea, WAE claimed.

The train has already been tested with a first journey between Wuhan of Hubei Province and Lyon in April 2016.

China has said that it wants to run 5,000 trains to and from the EU annually by 2020.

There have been some concerns about how the wine might affected by such a long rail journey.

‘Irregular running surfaces of wheel, rail and rail joints are constant sources of vibration,’ according to Gabriel Matagne, founder of Thermoveritas, a London-based fine wine shipping & storage consultant company.

To cope with this problem, ‘we put air cushions in the gaps between the containers and the trays,’ a spokesperson from WAE said.

Editing for Decanter.com by Chris Mercer.

Read the full story on DecanterChina.com

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