What it's about: The Bordeaux region in France has long commanded respect around the world for its highly coveted wine. The price of the wine fluctuates yearly, depending on things like weather and soil, and these prices have been rising. But even the elite vintners of Bordeaux could not prepare themselves for the surge that was coming. As the global market shifts, a new consumer has emerged with a voracious appetite: China. The Chinese nouveau riche have become obsessed with owning luxury items, and nothing is more luxurious than a finite product that costs $80,000 a bottle. As the Chinese buy up Bordeaux by the crate load, prices skyrocket, forcing traditional buyers out.
What else should audiences know?: "Having been born in Hong Kong in the 1950’s, I’ve witnessed its transition, frequently tumultuous, into a post colonial society, driven by influxes of refugees from mainland communist China, their aspirational ambitions and the evolving nature of the political system - Particularly as the mainland Chinese government has increasingly imposed itself on the island’s administration since the 1997 hand-over. As such, China has always held a fascination for me - and being a vigneron here in Australia, wines have always been a passion. So, when the opportunity arose to combine these two seemingly disparate subjects in a documentary about China's burning obsession with Bordeaux's finest wines, I couldn’t resist."
On the challenges: "Our biggest challenge was gaining access to regions of China where foreign camera crews are actively discouraged - like the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in far flung western China, where ethnic tensions have been running high for many years. We had a very good local connection and came in with an entirely Chinese crew and so our foreign element went undetected. Also, gaining the confidence of the winemakers and owners of the world's most famous Chateaux, like Chateau Margaux, Chateau Latour and Chateau Lafite Rothschild, was critical in allowing them to feel comfortable enough to speak frankly to us - this took many months."
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