Update: Oops-a-daisy, looks like the link between Diageo and Shui Jing Fang was established much earlier than reported in the story below. According to this page on the Diageo website, the company bought its initial stake in 2007. Thanks to Derek Sandhaus for the heads up.
Trade industry site Just Drinks has posted this links-laden reminder that it has been five years since global spirits distributor Diageo became a major investor in Sichuan-based baijiu brand Shuijingfang. And that things have likely not gone as planned.
“While always a long-term prospect, the London-based company may have expected by now to be reaping the rewards from getting a foothold in this huge category. But, as has been widely documented, things have been bumpy of late for spirits firms in China.”
Very bumpy, as the government austerity campaign in China has meant slashed sales for premium baijiu sellers and, in turn, the need to find new customers.
Shui Jing Fang bills itself as “China’s first distillery” with more than 600 years of continuous production.
“SHUI JING FANG is the culmination of the supreme Baijiu mastery and the unrivalled wealth of unique distiller’s yeasts amassed over 600 years. Every sip of SHUI JING FANG Baijiu rekindles the experience once enjoyed only by the royal and noble elite of the ancient dynasties,” states the website. Heavy stuff.
Shui Jing Fang was also a sponsor of the recent Baijiu Cocktail Week in London.
Looking for a bottle? One good bet is duty-free shops, where it is available in over a dozen countries. See here for the locations.
World Baijiu Day is held each August 9. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. This project has no financial backers. Help support it via PayPal or WeChat. Get in touch via spirit (at) worldbaijiuday.com.