Au reverse | Bordeaux investor buys Chinese winery, sparks new trend

UPDATE: As those who read this post a few days ago know, this is an April Fool’s joke.


changyu moser visit with lenz moser in ningxia (3)
China is known for wineries that evoke France…

By Jim Boyce | Given Chinese investors have bought over 100 Bordeaux chateaux during the past five years, it was only a matter of time before deals flowed the other way. Louis Languide of Bordeaux winery Chateau Pilou is leading the charge with the purchase of an 80-hectare operation in Shandong called Chateau TresBonGood that was founded in 2007 and mainly supplies government accounts.

Languide says he visited Shandong for two weeks last summer to do an extensive survey of TresBonGood’s facilities and vineyards and eventually finalize the deal.

“They told me this was the ‘Bordeaux of China‘,” he said. “I’m wondering where is the bread, where is the cheese, where is the local Jurade de St. Emilion chapter? Those things we can bring.”

Vast renovations are planned at a winery that company pamphlets describe as “fun-fancy French style”. Languide says it is like “equating Wonder Bread with a baguette.”

“I would like to erect a tiny Great Wall around the property to make visitors realize they really are in China,” he says. “We will only use local stone, we believe in terroir.”

Languide plans other changes, too. For one thing, he will replace the French word “bon” (good) with its Chinese equivalent “hao” in the winery’s name.

TresHaoGood is trilingual (French, Chinese and English) and this international flair will make it easier to export to the United States where they love that type of nonsense,” he says. “I might put a big red dragon on the label, too.”

Another change is raising quality by “adding a bit of French influence.”

“I own an ocean shipping company and we will make good use of our, how shall we say, excess production at the Bordeaux property,” he says. “Shandong is home to many good ports.”

Ningxia real estate agent, Fu Ah-pi, says she has already received more than a dozen queries from Bordeaux investors since Languide starting negotiating his deal.

“These investors are already sending us plenty of wine, both in bottle and bulk,” she says. “Now they truly want to show their friendship with China by buying our weirdly named wineries.”

And in case you didn’t realize it:

chinese april fools day

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