On this invigorating autumn day, the wine fragrance is teemed everywhere. Today is the Limit of Heat in the 24 solar terms of the Chinese Lunar Calendar, signaling the end of hot summer and the arrival of fruitful autumn. In such a harvest season, the 20th Spirits Selection by Concours Mondialde Bruxelles took place in Xinghua Village, Fenyang, Shanxi Province. In the next three days, 1,750 spirits from 59 countries and regions around the world gathered here to show their styles and compete for the title. Here, on behalf of the 10,000 employees of Fenjiu Group, I would like to extend a warm welcome to all the guests and friends who have come to participate in this competition! I would like to express my sincere respect and heartfelt thanks to the judges from all over the world and the colleagues of Beijing International Wine & Spirit Exchange who have made great efforts for this event!
As we all know, the wine capital of Xinghua Village, Lüliang City, Shanxi Province, has always been a fertile land with outstanding people, and is recognized as the birthplace of Chinese liquor. In the attractive land of Xinghua Village, small-porthole cuspate-bottom vat, the earliest Chinese wine container was unearthed, dating back to the Yangshao culture period more than 6,000 years ago. As an outstanding representative of Chinese famous wines, Fenjiu has long history of brewing, profound cultural heritage and excellent aroma quality. Most Chinese spirits are inextricably linked with Fenjiu in term of technique. Therefore, Fenjiu is known as the founder of the Chinese liquor industry, the torchbearer who inherits the Chinese liquor culture, the textbook of Chinese brewing skills, the living fossil witnessing the history of Chinese liquor development. It is also the source of Chinese liquor, the originator of mild-flavor liquor, and the root of Chinese wine culture, and lives up to the reputation of the essence of Chinese liquor.
One hundred years ago, Fenjiu went global; one hundred years later, the globe returned to Fenyang. At the Panama-Pacific International Exposition held in San Francisco in 1915, Xinghua Village liquors crossed the ocean with lingering aroma of Chinese civilization of thousands of years, and won the highest prize of the Exposition, Gold Plated Bronze Medal of Award (Grand prize). Since then, the world began to know Fenjiu. In the past one hundred years, the Chinese liquor industry represented by Fenjiu has never stopped exploring the pace of internationalization. With high sense of historical mission, we used the superior Chinese quality to benchmark the world standard and won respect and recognition of the world with unique historical culture inheritance. Today, more than one hundred years later, Lüliang City, one of the world's top ten spirit producing regions, successfully bid for the 20th Spirits Selection by Concours Mondialde Bruxelles, and has attracted the most varieties, the most participating countries and the most participants since founding of the spirits competition in 1999. By this opportunity, I would like to express heartfelt thanks to Mr. Louis Harvard, founder of the Spirits Selection by Concours Mondialde Bruxelles, and Mr. Buduen Haval, Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Spirits Selection by Concours Mondialde Bruxelles!
"Where can a winehouse be found to drown his sadness? A cowherd points to Xinghua Village in the distance." These lines written in the late Tang Dynasty in China more than 1,200 years ago is still widely read because of the nourishment and inheritance of Fenjiu. In traditional Chinese culture, boy of 20 years old are called "the year of crown", and girl of 20 years old are called "the year of peach and plum". 20 years old is the best age in one’s lifetime. Today, the Spirits Selection by Concours Mondialde Bruxelles is also exactly 20 years old. We sincerely hope that it will have a better future.
During the event, the Lüliang people's hospitality and the aroma and elegance of Fenjiu will surely bring you the most intimate, unique and memorable experience. Next month, the 3rd Shanxi (Fenyang·Xinghuacun) World Wine Culture Expo will also be held here. Welcome everyone to gather here again for further visit and exchange. Finally, I wish all participants a satisfactory result and wish the competition a complete success!