Changyu, officially China's oldest winery—though Zhang Bishi founded the winery in 1892, that was long after adventurous French monks planted productive vines and made wine in remote mountainous Cizhong village in Yunnan province—has big wine plans.
Changyu started with industrial-sized facilities scattered throughout Yantai city, in Shandong province.
Then they partnered with the French to build Changyu-Castel in Yantai in 2002 and with the Canadians for Château Changyu Ice wine in northern Liaoning Province and Changyu Kely Estate in New Zealand.
And then came the Disney-like marketing effort called Chateau Changyu AFIP Global.
Besides, these facilities, the company is building three other chateaus—Changyu Baron Balboa in Xinjiang Uygur province, Changyu Moser XV in Ningxia province and Changyu Reina in Shaanxi—planed to open in 2013. Adding to this armada of wineries, Changyu announced at the end of June plans to build a “wine city” in Yantai. Blueprints call for the 413 ha facility to have a research institute, wine production center, vineyards, an international wine trading center and, of course, a “European-style village.”
Changyu just might have the winning wine formula—by combining entertainment, education and tasting—for luring Chinese to wine.