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Shaoxing wine pours tradition into modern times

ezhejiang.gov.cn| Updated: May 31, 2024 L M S


A jar of Shaoxing Huadiao wine is on display. [Photo by Wang Gang for Tide News]

From May 24 to 26, over 100 overseas Chinese-language media representatives and international students from Europe, Japan, Canada, and Australia visited Shaoxing's Shangyu district, immersing themselves in the rich culture of Huadiao wine.

At Shao Xing Jiu Co's Huadiao wine workshop, workers were busy painting intricate designs on the wine jars. Huadiao wine, a type of Shaoxing yellow rice wine, boasts a 1,000-year history and is renowned for its sweet and mellow flavor, made primarily from glutinous rice.

Traditionally, yellow wine was brewed at home and given as a gift. To make the wine jars more presentable, people began carving decorative patterns on them, hence the name "Huadiao," meaning "flowery patterns carved."

The most captivating aspect of Huadiao wine is its beautifully decorated jars. Adorned with colorful sculptures that combine elements of calligraphy, art, sculpture, and literature, they are often used to celebrate significant life events such as childbirth and weddings.

Jing Haigang, the workshop manager, explained that a plain bottle of Shaoxing yellow wine undergoes 10 packaging steps to become Huadiao wine. The jars are typically sealed and painted accordingly for celebrations or as gifts, a practice that has been carried out purely by hand since ancient times. "Each bottle of Huadiao wine tells a story, filled with emotions and expectations," said Jing.

While maintaining traditional methods, Shaoxing yellow rice wine is also evolving with the times. Jing noted that modern Huadiao wine customization is highly personalized to meet consumer demands.

Currently, Shao Xing Jiu Co has multiple mechanized production and bottling lines, with an annual output of 50,000 metric tons of yellow wine. Their products are exported to over 20 countries and regions, including Europe, the United States, and Japan.