Château Beijing: France, Wine, and China
Original title: Château Pékin. La France, le vin, la Chine
With Boris Pétric, we can feel the curiosity of an enthusiast, his taste for travel, encounter, discovery, and the pleasure he takes in sharing these with the reader. A fascinating road trip — as instructive as it is unexpected! — Marie Desmeures, editor Le bruit du monde
What experiences do we already share with the Chinese people, perhaps without knowing it? A lively account that introduces a wide cast of characters and leads us down the new Silk Road, that of wine.
Over the last 20 years, from Bordeaux to Beijing, the world of wine has changed. With China’s shift to a market economy creating a newly cash-rich and upwardly mobile class, French wine became a symbol of pleasure, wealth, and sophistication. But beyond the ostentatious accumulation of grand crus, prized vintages, and prestigious chateaux, a deeper appreciation of what French wine has, for centuries, represented can be felt: respect for terroir, the craft of the producer, and the art of living well.
Throughout Château Pékin, Boris Pétric traces the evolution of China’s increasing investment in French wine in an engaging and personable style, rich with nuance and lightly-worn erudition. As comfortable exploring the history of post-communist social mores as he is the private wine-tasting clubs of Beijing, Pétric leads the reader from the traditional festivals of Bourgogne to the now Hong Kong-based Vinexpo, from the historic seats of the Bordeaux houses to the recently planted hectares of Chinese vineyards, and from the old world tentatively towards the new, as China is set to become not only one of the biggest consumers of the wine, but also its biggest producer.