Monday, October 1, 2012

Zhao Wei buys a vineyard in Bordeaux, joins an "Ancient Wine Brotherhood"

Vicki Zhao Wei spent a reported four million Euros for the 17 acre Chateau Monlot in the St Emilion region of Bordeaux. The French bourgeoisie have welcomed Chinese investment despite racist muttering from the Front National. According to one account the Chinese buyers are "wary and thorough, surround themselves with people they trust who speak excellent French, go through all the documents carefully" and most importantly, pay in cash.

Zhao Wei's new property includes well tended vineyards and lots of wine in barrels.

A few weeks ago she was inducted into the Jurade of Saint Emilion which seems to be a local Chamber of Commerce with fancy cloaks and hats. Founded in 1199, the Jurade now enforces quality standards and promotes the region's wine.

It was a lovely sunlit day in valley of the Gironde River in mid-September when the ceremony welcoming Zhao Wei and while she was probably to receive the honor (and to keep an eye on her four million Euro hillside) she looked as enthusiastic as Charlotte Corday awaiting her appointment with the guillotine.

The proprietor of Chateau Monlot in her cellar.

World Crunch; Xinhua; Decanter; Les Echos (French)

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