Every Bottle And Magnum Of Lafite ’08 To Include Chinese Character For Number Eight
In a hat-tip to one of its most important and loyal markets, Chateau Lafite (previously on Jing Daily) will imprint each bottle and magnum of Lafite 2008 with the Chinese character for the number eight (八), traditionally considered an auspicious number in Chinese culture, to commemorate its new vineyard venture in China. As Decanter writes today, Lafite is in partnership with CITIC, China’s largest state-owned investment company, to develop 25 hectares of vines on the Penglai peninsula in China’s Shandong province, an area that some commentators have called “China’s Bordeaux.”
Choosing the character for “eight,” which resembles a hill, has added meaning, then, as a Lafite spokesperson said in an interview this week, “The shape of the symbol seems to offer a perfect representation of the slopes of the vineyard and commemorates the launch of our Chinese wine project.”
While this could be considered a gimmick, or another example of a European brand pandering to the Chinese market, the subtlety of the Chinese character, and the fact that Lafite doesn’t need to pander to the market — as its bottles are arguably the most coveted among Chinese wine drinkers, “gift” givers and collectors — make this move look far more sincere.
Lafite isn’t the first beverage producer to work Chinese design cues into its bottles. Earlier this year, Absolut commissioned the Chinese artist Gao Yu to design a “Journey to the West”-inspired bottle, and rumors have swirled for quite some time that Château Mouton-Rothschild — another auction favorite for Chinese wine collectors — may include a Chinese character on its 2008 bottles. However, we’ll have to wait and see whether Mouton goes through with it, as its bottle designs won’t be unveiled for another couple of months.