The French region of Burgundy is known for its wines as well as Fujian is known for producing its jasmine teas. On July 6, the Burgundy wine council met up with Fuzhou’s tea producers association in Fuzhou, the capital city of Fujian, to sign an agreement on sharing ideas about protecting their respective agricultural heritage.
In a move to preserve Burgundy’s wine-making posterity, co-owner of famous château Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Aubert de Villaine, flew to Fuzhou city. Representing the wine council, de Villaine signed a memorandum of understanding with Wu Yidian, the president of Fuzhou Cross-Strait Tea Exchange Association.
According to wine news site Decanter China, the partnership is expected to foster a greater exchange of information and ideas on protecting agricultural heritage over two years of informal contact between the two regions. Fuzhou mayor Yang Yimin says that the partnership will strengthen Fuzhou’s jasmine tea traditions and exquisiteness, reports Fujian news fjnews. Yang adds that the memorandum will be a breakthrough into Sino-European trade, where two regions jointly write a new chapter in this 21st century Silk Road trade.
Krystel Lepresle, the director of Burgundy’s heritage committee, told Decanter China that the partnership is a natural one, as jasmine tea producers’ philosophy in Fuzhou “can be compared with the concept of ‘Climat’ in Burgundy.” “Climats” are precisely defined plots of land used for wine growing. In February 2015, Chinese officials will further the partnership efforts by visiting Paris to attend an international conference titled “Agricultural Heritage Systems: Models of Cultural and Economic Development.”
Burgundy and Fuzhou lay claim to culturally important sites and agricultural production methods: Fuzhou’s “Jasmine and Tea Culture System” was accepted as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Site (GIAHS) by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) for the United Nations on April 28-29. The Bourgogne (“Burgundy” in French) Wine Board (BIVB) is tasked with securing their “Climats” as one of UNESCO’s world heritage sites—a goal that could be achieved next year when their candidacy is examined.