The Chinese have become the force to be reckoned with at international wine auctions in recent years and have also become big importers of hard liquor. Will they convince the world to drink their white spirit, Baijiu?.
Diageo has recently succeeded in acquiring a majority 53% share in Chinese company Quanxing Group, China’s leading liquor maker and the biggest shareholder in Shui Jing Fang Co. Ltd. and the company is now starting to roll out more aggressively Shui Jing Fang's luxury Baijiu. Most recently, it launched it in Singapore with executives saying the move was part of an international roll-out.
"We are fully committed to build Shui Jing Fang into an internationally successful iconic Chinese brand," said Gilbert Ghostine, president of Diageo Asia.
In China, Baijiu is celebrated as the national drink and is an indispensible ritual that is central in all aspects of Chinese life, from Lunar New Year festivities, weddings and venture successes. Reflecting one’s social standing and personal taste, luxury Baiju drinkers are a symbol of China’s fast growing newly affluent and cosmopolitan population.
The history of Shui Jing Fang harks back to 1408 when a master distiller named Wang created a secret formula for making Baijiu of superior quality. Coupled with a well that produced pristine water, he was able to create the perfect brew for the highest grade of spirits. 600 years later in 1998, excavators uncovered the original distillery site which is currently on the record for being the oldest and most well-preserved distillery in existence. China’s National Cultural Relics Bureau has also certified the Shui Jing Fang distillery as “China’s First Baijiu Distillery”, its historical significance on par with the Terracotta Army!!!
Today, a mix of five grains is left to ferment underground in the same soil used over 600 years ago. It is distilled in a traditional technique which has been perfected over generations, giving discerning Baijiu aficionados a Chinese spirit concocted for more than six centuries at the same spot. The painstaking preparation method and use of best quality ingredients, coupled with Chengdu’s optimal climate, have become the hallmarks of this top Chinese Baijiu.
Shui Jing Fang features four variants - Wellbay, Classic, Scholar’s Edition and Forest Green.