Diageo has broken ground on the site of its first malt whisky distillery in China, which will cost a staggering $75 million. The drinks giant will use the facility to produce Chinese-origin single malt.
Located in Eryuan County in Yunnan Province, details behind the Diageo Eryuan Malt Whisky Distillery was officially unveiled at a special ceremony this week in Eryuan, attended by provincial and local government officials, industry representatives, and the local community.
“China is the world’s largest beverage alcohol market(1) and the demand for whisky is growing rapidly among middle-class consumers who are keen to further discover and enjoy fine whiskies,” explained 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.
“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,” added Fischer.
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 interactive visitor center that will “attract whisky enthusiasts and boost the local cultural tourism industry,” says the brand. 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.
For more information, head over to Diageo’s official website.
In September, Diageo opened its first carbon neutral distillery in Lebanon, Kentucky.