Kweichow Moutai: China’s ‘national schnapps’ on the rise
Baijiu is the most popular alcoholic drink in China and Moutai the most famous brand, with a similar status to vodka in Russia or tequila in Mexico. Its origins go back over 2,000 years to the time of Emperor Wu of Han. These days, the national drink is frequently served at official state banquets and is used as the official state gift. Its protected source is the village of Maotai in the Guizhou province on the banks of the Chishui, the Red River. These days, more than 30,000 tons of the 53 percent alcohol Moutai are produced. In cooperation with Camus, a limited edition was launched as an homage to the greatest poets: after Li Bai in 2013, Du Fu followed in 2018. The elegant bottle showing a painting of a poem is made from the finest porcelain.
Traditional methods are used for the distillation of regional raw materials: organic sorghum and wheat and the best water. Fermentation takes place at high temperatures. During the production process, which takes a year, fresh grain is added twice to the boilers, then several boiling and fermentation processes take place. Every batch of the distillate is separated according to age, production cycle and aroma. It then matures slowly in terracotta containers and, during the storage period of at least five years, develops a fine soya aroma. Master blenders make sure that the characteristic, full flavour is preserved. The secret lies in the humid climate, the water from the Chishui, as well as in the distillation technique and maturing period.
At the World Spirits Award, there was double gold for Kweichou Moutai Du Fu Edition.