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Tuesday 2 November 2021

$75 million US investment says Chinese whisky is the next big thing

Scotland no longer has the premium whisky market to itself. 

From Tasmania to Japan, the US to Ireland, whisky is big business. 

And the next big whisky producing nation will be China, one of the world's leading beverage companies believes. 

Diageo, a global leader in alcohol and owner of Johnnie Walker and Singleton Scotch whiskies, this week broke ground on the site of its first malt whisky distillery in China.

Located in Eryuan County in Yunnan Province, the Diageo Eryuan Malt Whisky Distillery (above) will produce Diageo's first China-origin, single malt whisky. 

It is a $US75 million investment. 

"China is the world's largest beverage alcohol market and the demand for whisky is growing rapidly among middle-class consumers who are keen to further discover and enjoy fine whiskies", said Sam Fischer, president of Diageo Asia Pacific and Global Travel

"Today we celebrate another significant step forward, and one which builds upon our local insights and combines those with Diageo's global whisky expertise in order to delight the next generation of Chinese whisky consumers." 

Situated at over 2,100 metres above sea level, Diageo’s first malt whisky distillery in China will be carbon neutral.

The site of the 66,000 sqm distillery was carefully selected for its temperate climate, rich natural biodiversity, and access to natural spring water that is a source of the second-largest highland lake, Erhai Lake, in Yunnan. 

"The natural surroundings and the Eryuan landscape will allow us to craft a world-class, China-origin, single malt whisky that will capture the imagination of premium whisky lovers in China," said Fischer.

The site will feature an immersive and interactive visitor centre that it is hoped attract whisky enthusiasts and boost the local cultural tourism industry. 

Construction is expected to begin in early 2022.  

Diageo brands include Smirnoff, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Tanqueray and Guinness. 

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