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Consul General of Hungary Visits Chongqing Local Winery

By SHIHAN YANGICHONGQING|Jul 08,2021

Recently, the UEFA EURO was in full swing and Group F with several defending champions got knocked out en masse, which was a big shock. However, Hungary in the group showed the world the momentum of recovery from the use of the Chinese vaccine with a tenacious fight and an occupancy rate of 100% at its capital Budapest. In fact, the Hungarian government is also seeking more opportunities for economic recovery in China. On July 2, the Consul General of Hungary in Chongqing Gergely Kadarand his retinue visited Chongqing Jiangxiaobai Liquor Co., Ltd. for discussing the cooperation on technology transfer of Chinese-Hungarian fruit wines and reached preliminary intentions.

The Consul General of Hungary in Chongqing Gergely Kadar visited Jiangxiaobai, a local winery in Chongqing. (photo by Jiangxiaobai)

a technology transfer center

Hungary, a central European country with a large Chinese population, is the first European Union member state to sign the Belt and Road cooperation agreement. By virtue of the unique geographical conditions, Hungary has developed a special industry represented by agriculture and food. Its products like fruit wine brandy, botrytized wines, and chili sauce are sold worldwide.

In order to deepen exchanges between China and Hungary, Chinese-Hungarian Technology Transfer Center in Chongqing was officially established in May 2017. As a cooperation platform for both international technology transfer and sci-tech innovation jointly built by the two countries, the center has implemented a number of key transnational cooperation projects since its establishment.

“Under this framework, we have built another research platform in cooperation with Southwest University to advance transnational cooperation in fruit wine projects,” said Gergely Kadar. Fruit wines are representative products of Hungary. Among them, Palinka, with a history of 600 to 700 years of brewing and a unique fermentation process, is known as the “national wine” of the country because of its unique taste.

To expand the innovative development of the fruit wine brandy industry in the Chinese market, Sino-Hungarian Fruit Wine Brandy Research Laboratory was officially established in Southwest University under the support of the Consulate General of Hungary in Chongqing this February. The laboratory has made a new breakthrough in the joint application and development of fruit wine brewing technologies.

“By optimizing the brewing process, we have reduced the harmful indicators of the unblended liquor by 60% and increased the yield by 2%, so as to become more adaptable to the processing of fruits in China,” said Du Muying, Associate Professor of the College of Food Science, Southwest University. Drawing on this process, the university has developed some experimental wines with Chongqing’s local fruits such as pomelos of Liangping District, red tangerines, and lemons as raw materials. After drinking a cup of these full-bodied wines, one can still smell their fragrance in the glass the next day.

 innovation and R&D capabilities

“The results of Southwest University give us the hope that Hungarian fruit wine projects will be launched in China!” Gergely Kadar said. After breaking through the technical barriers, Hungary began to plan further cross-border cooperation projects in fruit wines, hoping to drink a Hungarian fruit wine with Chinese characteristics as soon as possible.

Gergely Kadar noticed Chongqing Jiangxiaobai Liquor then.

“As Chongqing Jiangxiaobai Liquor has products for sale in several European countries, this company must have a unique market insight and product innovation strength,” said Gergely Kadar.

Over the past nearly 10 years from 2012, Chongqing Jiangxiaobai Liquor has set up a red glutinous sorghum demonstration planting base of about 333.33 hectares and a sorghum liquor production base of 50.67 hectares or so in Jiangjin, Chongqing. It has also laid out a liquor industrial park of 80 hectares, gathering many upstream and downstream enterprises engaged in glass bottles, bottle caps, presswork, carton packaging, warehouse logistics, etc.

Thanks to this, the company has developed several new wines made from sorghum, green plums, and peaches in addition to inheriting and innovating the liquor of Jiangjin. In the first quarter of this year, the new brand “Great Fun” which was founded less than a year ago, achieved sales of more than 100 million yuan, ranking first in its category.

“We pay special attention to the innovation and upgrading of winemaking techniques and hope to learn widely from others’ strong points!” said Liu Jiaodang, Technical Director of Chongqing Jiangxiaobai Liquor. The company has a deep and longstanding commitment to making traditional Chinese sorghum liquor more fashionable, international and suitable for people’s taste. It also welcomes special wine-making techniques from all over the world to China for a bigger market.

enterprise-university-research institution cooperation 

On the same day, representatives from Hungary reached a preliminary cooperation intention with Chongqing Jiangxiaobai Liquor. The two sides will take Sino-Hungarian Fruit Wine Brandy Research Laboratory as the basis, through the interaction among enterprises, universities and research institutions, to facilitate the localized innovation and upgrading of fruit wine brewing techniques, explore production standards of the relevant categories of wines, and advance the transformation and launch of research results.

“China is a large fruit country, ranking first in the fruit planting area and production in the world. The deep processing industry represented by the development and quality improvement of fruit wines will be promising!” introduced Du Muying.

In the future, the two sides will also deepen cooperation in talent training in the Chinese-Hungarian wine industry, food science research, industrialization of cooperation results, and social services.

Last April, Chongqing released the Chongqing Municipality Action Plan for the Promotion of High-Quality Development in the Consumer Goods Industry (2020-2022), mentioning the need to strengthen the brands and the driving role of culture, improve the brewing techniques and create an advantageous liquor production area in the southwest. Relying on fruit and forest resources, the city is slated to develop fruit wines with local features and medium- and high-end beer.

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