French winemaker helps Xinjiang wine gain worldwide acclaim

(People's Daily Online) 10:33, April 10, 2024

Fred Nauleau, a French winemaker who has taken root in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, has helped Xinjiang wine win global recognition.

Nauleau is often busy tending to the vines and managing irrigation at the vineyards in the northern foothills of the Tianshan Mountains in Manas county, hoping for a bountiful harvest in autumn. "Having worked and lived in Xinjiang for over 20 years, I've fallen in love with the grapes here," he shared.

Fred Nauleau works in a workshop in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. (Photo/Pan Qi)

Born into a winemaking family in France's renowned Loire Valley, Nauleau developed a strong interest in wine from a young age. He joined a wine company in Xinjiang in the summer of 2000.

Xinjiang, located at roughly the same latitude as Bordeaux and California, is a prime winemaking region. "The wine made in Xinjiang has high sugar levels, low acidity, an intense fruity aroma, and a delicate, smooth tannin texture," Nauleau noted.

When he first arrived, the experienced winemaker encountered difficulties due to the language barrier. To explain procedures, he would draw pictures to illustrate the production processes. Despite these challenges, together with young local technicians, he produced award-winning wines with regional characteristics.

"Today, our wine has embarked on a journey to the world, reaching countries such as the United States and Belgium," he said, adding that Xinjiang wine has become a new favorite in France due to its unique taste.

In 2010, Nauleau received the Chinese Government Friendship Award, the highest honor for foreign experts who have made outstanding contributions to China's modernization drive, which he described as a major source of inspiration and motivation.

Nauleau married a local woman years ago and has two children. "China has become my second home, and I am now a Xinjiang person who loves local cuisine like pilaf and baked buns," he said.

Going forward, Nauleau shared that his ultimate ambition is to produce an iconic Xinjiang wine that expresses the region's unique winemaking identity in the future.

(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)


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