I am just back from China since we couldn’t refuse an invitation to meet our importer and share a cross-cultural experience. I travelled with a friend to Foshan in Guangdong province while Ron stayed home to manage cellar door.
Our tour diary was jam-packed from 10am-9pm visiting wine shops, meeting family members and being guest of honour at a few dinner parties. Alas, no time for shopping!
It was exciting to see The Darkie and Premium Fortifieds featured on shop shelves and to meet the buyers and sellers and even their families.
We were escorted to places of cultural interest, served tea and visited a famous house and garden of ancient times. As you can imagine, the food was amazing. In a village restaurant, we got to net the fish and shellfish we were going to eat, then we picked out the green vegetables, and then it was served at our table and continued to cook on a hot plate in the middle. The Chinese like their fish fresh! In terms of wine, they loved the off-dry Gewurztraminer Riesling.
At the dinner parties we played guessing games – like how old the old vines are, what animal we see in the vineyard etc.
It was a privilege to get this opportunity. Next time I hope to take someone else in the family.