Diageo, the global leader in beverage alcohol and owner of Johnnie Walker and Singleton Scotch whiskies, today 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 will produce Diageo’s first China-origin, single malt whisky. Details of the US$75 million investment were officially unveiled at a special ceremony today in Eryuan, attended by provincial and local government officials, industry representatives, and the local community.
“China is the world’s largest beverage alcohol market1 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, 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.”
At more than 2,100 meters above sea level, the site of the 66,000 square meter 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. Sam Fischer added, “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.”
Diageo’s ‘Society 2030: Spirit of Progress’ sustainability action plan will shape the design and development of the distillery. Renewable and clean technologies will be used in the distillery to ensure it is carbon neutral, recycles all the water it uses, and is a zero-waste site.
The site will feature an immersive and interactive visitor centre that will attract whisky enthusiasts and boost the local cultural tourism industry. The sustainable and innovative design of both the distillery and the visitor center will incorporate local cultural elements and embrace the region’s natural landscape.
Construction is expected to begin in early 2022.
1International Wines & Spirits Record (IWSR) database, 2020 Report, accessed at www.theiwsr.com
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