Tour of Chateau Changyu Reina in Shaanxi: A Wine Castle in the Royal Vineyard of the Tang Dynasty

Date:2014-06-19 From:中国新闻网 Print Font size:LargeMediumSmall

“The morning rain in Weicheng Town moistens light dust; The inn looks green amid willow trees fresh. I beg you to take one more cup of wine; For west of Yangguan Pass, no old friends will be seen.” The Weicheng City, mentioned in the well-kown poem written by the famous poet Wang Wei in the Tang Dynasty, started to make wine in the Western Han Dynasty. A royal vineyard was established here for Emperor Tangtaizong in the Tang Dynasty. On June 18, 2014, Tour of Chateau Changyu Reina in Shaanxi was officially launched. The Chateau, located in Weicheng Town, Weicheng District of Xianyang City, is an ideal option for tourists to the famous historical and cultural city of Xi’an.

    Chateau in the Royal Garde

    Driving off about 5 km from Xianyang International Airport along the expressway, you will spot a stretch of lush vineyard and, turning round the corner, an ancient chateau will come into your sight.

    Chateau Changyu Reina in Shaanxi is jointly invested and established by Changyu Pioneer Wine Company, a leading wine enterprise in China, and Italian Reina Family. It is the first comprehensive culture tourism scenic spot in Shaanxi with the theme of wine culture, integrating grape picking, wine culture exhibition, display on wine making, dining, meeting, recreation and rural tourism.

    The chateau covers an area of 1,100 mu with a grand gate quite like the well-preserved ancient city walls of Xi’an. The classical Italian Tuscan style castle brings visitors back to the medieval Europe. The castle is 60m in height and covers a built-up area of about 46,000m2. Its red clay roof tiles and bright yellow wall coating radiates the flavor of classics and romance against the golden sunshine.

    In the Cupid Square of the chateau, there are a number of sculptures on themes of “Brilliant Changyu,” “Love Forever,” “ Good Wine and Luminous Wine Glasses” etc. Love-themed activities, such as an outdoor wedding, are often held in this square. In addition, here is also a wonderful place for young men and women to take their wedding photos.

The chateau owns a vineyard of over 700 mu. Just imagine the lush grapevines with strings of plump grapes! As the most beautiful outdoor scenic spot of the chateau, the vineyard is famous for wine grapes such as Cabernet Gernischt, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignane, Italian Riesling and Merlot.

Other scenic spots include “Wall of Love” and “Love Trevi Fountain.” The Wall of Love, carved out of white marble, depicts ten love stories in Greek mythology. Lovers can also throw love medals into the “Love Trevi Fountain,” to wish for an everlasting love.

Furthermore, in this chateau there are table grape picking garden, children's playground and outdoor picnic area, etc. Here tourists can pick fresh grapes; and in the children’s playground, children can have a lot of fun taking group photos with cartoon characters, watching cosplay, and experiencing jungle adventure, etc.

To experience the charm of wine culture in interactive activities

Chateau Changyu Reina enjoys elegant natural scenery and ancient castle. Its wine-themed museum highlights history, culture and high–tech programs.

The most fascinating program is the heavily-invested “Dark Ride—Cellar Adventure,” which is a masterpiece of the creative production teams of both Universal Studio and Disneyland. Mr. Mark, former Senior Creative Director of Universal Studio and Disneyland, comments that “Changyu enjoys rich and colorful stories and a time-honored history. Combined with the world's leading technology and superior creative design, this project has reached internationally advanced level, and is currently one of the best in China.” The creation team also includes the noted Canadian music composer Dave Wallace, winner of Duolameiwo- the highest award for sound design and composition, and Don Lewis, a famous American sound engineer. Both of them have created numerous wonderful music and sound effects for Disneyland around the world.

These leading audiovisual experts combined multiple high-tech audiovisual means to produce the effects of sound, thunder, lightning and rain. Riding in the 5D sport car, tourists begin a journey of cellar adventure- to immersively experience the 11-year arduous journey with 3 major setbacks of the newly-established Changyu company in building a large underground cellar to make China’s best wine at the end of the 19th century in Yantai, a coastal city by the Bohai Sea.

Epic stories of unremitting self-improvement by Chinese winemakers are depicted on the giant ring screen in the 4D theater of the chateau, which enables tourists to enjoy the most splendid scenery of various major chateaus of Changyu. What’s more, the movie also takes advantage of many effects such as wind, water, smoke, bubble and smell etc.

In the ring screen theater, the world’s first wine-themed ring screen film, “Legend of Winemaking” is on. The film vividly demonstrates the process of fermentation inside the wine barrel. Surrounded by the ring screen, tourists can see fantastic images of microscopic changes upon the generation of wine in the barrel, witnessing, like a small molecule, the magical process of the grapes’ fermenting into wine.

Inside the hall named “Wine’s Secrets,” tourists are entertained with interactive participation platforms such as “The Happy Nose,” “The Color of Wine,” “Magic Transformation” and “Secret on Tongue Tip.”

“The Happy Nose” allow tourists to learn more about the aromas of wine by 54 different aromas demonstrated with an imported wine nose. “The Color of Wine” teaches tourists how to judge the age of wine through its color. “Secret on Tongue Tip” enhances tourists’ knowledge on distribution of taste buds on the tongue as well as with which part of the tongue should we taste a wine. “Magic of transformation” offers tourists knowledge on how the grape juice turns into a delicious wine in a natural way by virtue of a microscope and a series of microbiological experiments.

The hall of “Centenary Changyu” unfolds the rich stories of the century-old Changyu Company and its history. One of the most impressive should be the pioneering entrepreneurship of the founder of Changyu, Mr. Chang Bishi. Born into a poor family, young as he was, he had to find a living in Nanyang (now Southeast Asia). Based on rich experiences in mine industry, reclamation industry, shipping industry and others, he finally grew into the richest man in Southeast Asia. Driven by his growing patriotism and ambition to rejuvenate China with industry, Chang Bishi spent 3 million taels of silver to establish Changyu Wine Company in Yantai, Shandong, ushering in China’s industrial production of wine.

“Wine industry tourism is an important way to popularize wine culture,” said Zhou Hongjiang, general manager of Changyu Company. Currently, all the eight domestic chateaus owned by Changyu are designed with such functions as tourism and leisure. In this way, the chateaus are not only used for making high-end chateau wine, but also a platform for popularizing and experiencing wine culture. Among the eight chateaus, Changyu holds particularly high hopes for Chateau Changyu Reina in Shaanxi since Xi’an has rich tourist resources as an ancient capital. In the Chateau, there is a collection of the world’s most advanced interactive entertainment and exhibition technology, allowing tourists to experience and cherish, in a completely new perspective, the charm of wine culture.

Unique good wine promoted by barrel-changing technology

The most amazing thing about Chateau Changyu Reina in Shaanxi is that it boasts of the biggest underground wine cellar in Asia, which can accommodate15, 000 oak barrels with its large area of 15,800 m2.

According to report, there are over 20 kinds of oak barrels from different regions of the world with different grains and different degrees of baking. The cost for oak barrels alone amounts to RMB 100 million yuan.

The Chief Winemaker of Chateau Reina, Augustus Reina, is the heir to Reina family, an Italian winemaking family which is famous in the world for its original creation of barrel-changing technique in winemaking. The recorded winemaking in this family can be traced back to as early as 1525 A.D. in the Renaissance Period.

Reina brings his family’s unique barrel-changing technique to the Chateau. In accordance with the features of grapes and raw wine every year, appropriate kinds of oak barrels are chosen, enabling the wine to reach a perfect balance in the process of aging.

“Oak barrels from French are as mellow and delicate as the delicacy of a violin; those from America are as strong and heavy as the deepness of a cello; heavily-baked oak barrels are as aromatic as the majesty of a French horn; slightly-baked barrels are as fresh as the briskness of a flute…” said Mr. Reina.

“By means of winery tours, more and more Chinese are offered the chance to learn about and experience the unique winemaking philosophy and skills of Chateau Reina,” added Mr. Reina, who was really excited about this.

Tasting the good wine and food in chateau

The dry red wine by Chateau Changyu Reina is made mainly from grapes of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. This wine smells of the fruitiness of Black Currant, and of aromas of spice, fumigation, mushroom and resin. Mellow and harmonious, it is a complex, well-balanced wine with rich texture.

The dry red wine by Chateau Changyu Reina was served to important statesmen from over 70 countries and regions at the welcoming banquet of 2013 Euro-Asia Economic Forum.

Tourists can taste the Tuscany-style (Italy) food in wine-themed restaurant in the chateau when they feel tired and hungry during the tour. The Chinese and Western dishes are elaborately prepared by cooks to pair with good wines. Its specialty, the Florentine steak and lasagna from Italy, taste very delicious.

Plus, you can even try to make a bottle of wine with your own hands. Under the guidance of winemaker of this chateau, you can, together with your family or close friends, carry out the initial winemaking process by manually destemming and crushing the grapes, having the fun of winemaking in a natural way. Then, you can draw your own wine label to mark your wine with your own spiritual symbol. and finally, you can leave this bottle of wine under the care of professionals in the chateau, and wait for a pleasant surprise upon opening it one month later.

Looking out of the window of the European-styled wine tasting room, you can enjoy the fantastic scenery of chateau built upon the Royal Vineyard of the Tang Dynasty. Drinking a glass of Chateau Reina wine, you might become very poetic. Who can say that, if Wang Wei, the great poet, were with us today, he wouldn’t produce another famous line like “I beg you to take one more glass of wine?”