Guest Blog: Thibault Pontallier
I have just come back from France and China after a very interesting Vinexpo 2011, a great weather and atmosphere in Bordeaux, then a fascinating new trip in northern China between Tianjin and Beijing, where Château Margaux sponsored the Miss China 2011 competition.
First it was great to be back in Bordeaux to exchange ideas with everyone from the wine world in Vinexpo, and in Château Margaux I think we must have received again more than 1,000 people in two weeks!
This year has been marked by an impressive, huge Asian influence, not only for the number of guests and professionals coming from Asia to Bordeaux but also in every little detail in the fair. The gala dinner "Fête de la Fleur", which closed the expo with more than 1,500 guests from the entire world was decorated with beautiful Chinese statues around the tables in Château Lascombes, and the dinner menu was written in French, English and in Chinese for the first time! I'm glad and proud to see these creative cultural initiatives from my hometown Bordeaux as the more I travel to China, the more I am convinced that our cultures have so many values in common and so many things to exchange, which go much further beyond wine bottles.
After such an interesting trip in France I decided to fly to northern China to visit a few Chinese vineyards, cellars and study new projects in the wine world over there. It was impressive to see such determination and so many funds dedicated to big, new wineries in China, in order to become a major wine producer from the new world. But can China be called "New World"? I am not sure, after having seen so many beautiful 5,000 years old ceramics in the Forbidden City.
Another reason for this trip is that we agreed to sponsor Miss China 2011 in Beijing, with a banquet after the show for more than 300 friends and VIPs. Many people who love and know wine have always considered Château Margaux to be the most elegant, the most charming and the most feminine top wine from Bordeaux, so we thought it was a great idea to associate our wines with the most beautiful women from China. The queen of Bordeaux with the queen of China for one beautiful night in Beijing!
I had the honour and the great pleasure to organise a wine dinner in Beijing for the 32 contestants to the Miss China competition a few days before, it was most probably the first time many of them tried French wines, they were all so elegant and charming that they deserved to start drinking wine for the first time in their lives with some Château Margaux. And apparently they loved it, as we had to open twice more bottles than expected. Gambei!
The show in Beijing was impressive, with more than 5,000 guests, officials, singers, Miss Universe 2007 Riyo Mori from Japan and supermodel Petra Nemcova. It was unusual and so pleasant for us to organise such an event, so much less formal and more glamourous than the classic wine dinners or tastings. Château Margaux found the perfect combination that night with such beautiful women from over China: their lovely eyes, their elegant dresses, the live band, everything made this event a magic night, I think I never saw so many people smile during a party! I hope France and China will unite much more often to create so much beauty and elegance. A bientôt!