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Palace of wine to open in Olympic city

A vast ‘Palace of Wine’ is being built in the Chinese city of Qingdao in Shangdong Province.

The 2,700 square metre building is part of a huge residential development. Qingdao, on China’s east coast, will host the sailing competitions in next year’s Olympic Games.

Spanish architect Luis de Miguel Najarro, who is from Rioja, has been commissioned to design a wine-themed complex that will showcase world’s major wine regions.

The Palace will comprise shops, restaurants, a business centre, a social club and wine storage facilities for residents, according to La Rioja newspaper.

De Miguel Najarro was identified by Zhang Tao, China’s importer for wines from Bodegas Altanza de Fuenmayor, which will feature prominently among the wines represented.

The EUR2m (£1.45m), complex located inside the 5,000-unit apartment development, will be inaugurated in February 2008, to coincide with the Chinese New Year.

The developers chose Qingdao – a city of 7m inhabitants – for strategic and demographic reasons. Shangdong is a centre of agricultural production from which the majority of China’s own wines originate.

Written by Maggie Rosen

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