At Chateau Changyu Reina, outside the city of Xi’an, more than 2,000 acres of vineyards surround the Medieval-esq castle that looks as if it has been plucked straight from the Italian countryside. The active vineyards surrounding the chateau churn out more than 5,000 bottles of wine each year, while the castle itself acts as an interactive playground for wine aficionados.
The hallways of Chateau Changyu Reina teach guests about the history and art of wine making. There are mirrors to encourage visitors to examine their taste buds. There is a statue of the Greek God of grape harvest, Dionysus. There are hallways showcasing the local soil and globes spotlighting the world’s other wine regions.
Chateau Changyu Reina, which is part of the larger Wine City project, was first developed by the Changyu Pioneer Wine Company, China’s oldest wine brand. According to FOOD & WINE, Changyu Pioneer Wine Company reportedly brought in significant help from the Italian wine company Illva Saronno Holding Spa, combining China’s modernity and efficiency with classic Italian influence. Wine City is anticipated to produce 450,000 tons of wine and brandy at its peak, once open.
“There’s already one chateau, a white neo-Gothic structure that looks like the set of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and two others are nearing completion,” reports Mark Ellwood of Bloomberg. “Another Gothic-inspired pile, complete with an artificial moat, will be dedicated to championing and producing red wine, while the squat and sturdy Romanesque chateau next door—imagine the home of any Disney princess—is a temple to brandy making, a first for the company.”
Although China is not currently a top destination for wine, it is one of the largest consumers of red wine on the market making the country a force to be reckoned with in the wine world. Wine City — once fully open — may bump this unlikely region to the top of wine lover’s travel lists.