Château Suduiraut in China: when wine meets art

Bookmark and Share

I went to China in October  for an unusual and exceptional event.  I have had the feeling for a couple of years that the time was right for Chinese wine drinkers to discover the great wines of Sauternes. When I first started going to China at the end of the 90s, the wine market was in its infancy. I remember an early Union des Grands Crus tasting where very few people actually turned up. Fifteen years later when we put on an event of that sort in Shanghai or Beijing over one thousand knowledgeable people will be in attendance. The transformation of the scene in a relatively short space of time has been astonishing. But the primary focus has been on red wines, in particular the great Grand Cru wines of Bordeaux.

We decided therefore that it was time to launch the wine of Château Suduiraut in China, and after much reflection decided that an interesting and exciting way to do this would be to commission a work of art from a well known Chinese artist, that would be somehow inspired by Château Suduiraut and its wines and then in partnership with the artist launch both the wines of Château Suduiraut and the work of art, using art as a bridge between the two cultures of France and China.

After much research, we approached the distinguished artist Jiao Xingtao. He liked the idea and came out to Suduiraut.

Jiao Xingtao and myself at Suduiraut
Jiao Xingtao and myself at Suduiraut

He is an exceptional person, very likeable and a true free spirit and I liked him very much from the first. He enjoyed his visit to Suduiraut and a few months later came up with an outstanding piece of work inspired by Château Suduiraut and its wines.

 Jiao Xingtao with “The Golden Wine”, the sculpture he created inspired by the chateau and wines of Suduiraut
Jiao Xingtao with “The Golden Wine”, the sculpture he created inspired by the chateau and wines of Suduiraut

Inspired in turn by what he had done, we designed a special label for Château Suduiraut for its launch in China.  The label of Château Suduiraut uses the coat of arms of the Suduiraut family, which features two golden lions. Jiao had taken this and transformed the lions, modeled on the Chinese lions in the Beijing summer palace.

Close up of lions on the artwork made by Jiao Xingtao
Close up of lions on the artwork made by Jiao Xingtao

We liked this idea and used it on the Chinese label for Château Suduiraut, which is being produced as a limited edition for China in both 75 cl and Magnum format. The wine we chose for the launch was the outstanding 2009 vintage, which I consider to be one of the greatest vintages of Château Suduiraut ever, and so it seemed appropriate that it should be the wine to introduce Château Suduiraut to China.

Château Suduiraut 2009 limited edition label
Château Suduiraut 2009 limited edition label

Château Suduiraut 2009 limited edition box
Château Suduiraut 2009 limited edition box

Château Suduiraut 2009 limited edition magnum
Château Suduiraut 2009 limited edition magnum

We also had the name of Château Suduiraut translated into Mandarin.

 Château Suduiraut in Mandarin
Château Suduiraut in Mandarin

When spoken in Mandarin this sounds something like Suduiraut, but more importantly means Rising Sun (the first character) Golden (the second character) Château (the third character). I like this name very much. We are particularly keen to communicate in China around the idea that Château Suduiraut is a golden wine. It is exactly its colour, and in addition Gold has strong positive resonances in China as an imperial colour. Well, we can’t just let the red wines have it all their own way.

We had two launches, in Hong Kong and Shanghai, with a huge turnout of top journalists and wine and art collectors, including the great Henry Tang who has done so much for the world of wine in Hong Kong. I was slightly apprehensive about organizing these events as it was the first time we had done something like this, but it was a great success, very enjoyable, and I look forward to working with Jiao again in the future.

Jiao Xingtao and myself during the Hong Kong launch
Jiao Xingtao and myself during the Hong Kong launch

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

0 thoughts on “Château Suduiraut in China: when wine meets art”