Concurrently with Gilbert & Gaillard’s attendance of the Food and Drinks Fair in Chengdu from March 24 to 26, Philippe Gaillard gave a masterclass on the Saint-Chinian appellation at the South-West University for Nationalities. His presentation went down extremely well with the audience who discovered a new French wine region in the process.
Philippe Gaillard presented the Languedoc appellation to a gathering of Chinese students that were both wine lovers and French speakers. The lecture focused primarily on the array of soil types that is one of Saint-Chinian’s fortes and on the appellation’s ability to produce some real gems. In fact, although these young wine connoisseurs from the Middle Kingdom were broadly familiar with French wines, Languedoc and in particular the Saint-Chinian area were a real discovery – they are now extremely well-versed in the appellation.
The aim of the conference was to make these future ambassadors of French wine culture aware that the quality of terroir, soil and ancient French wine growing wisdom play a major part in the reputation and acclaimed quality of wines from France, Languedoc in particular, that are highly sought-after in China. The message conveyed was that essentially wine is a fine-tuned combination of knowledge of terroir, passion and open-mindedness.
China is still an adolescent when it comes to wine and this type of lecture is essential if a clear, instructive message is to be conveyed about French wines. It is also of paramount importance that this generation of Chinese men and women, who are poised to run this vast country and major global economy, be influenced, if only in some small way.