Kylin Spirits Group and Dali Municipal People's Government signed the "Investment Cooperation Agreement of Kylin Spirits Group (Dali) Malt Whisky Distillery and Industrial Park Project" on 28 October. During the 26th Kunming Fair and the 6th China-South Asia Expo, this cooperation is officially announced.
According to the Agreement, Kylin Spirits Group Ltd. will invest 500 million RMB (around 68 million USD) into the first phase of the Kylin Spirits Group Ltd. (Dali) Malt Whisky Distillery construction project, which will cover an area of around 3.34 hectares in the town of Yinqiao in Dali city. The distillery, designed to produce around 1.2 million litres of whisky annually, will occupy a floor area of around 13,000 square metres, and production is expected to begin in 2024.
(Signing and Launching Ceremony)
800 million RMB (around 110 million USD) will be invested in the second phase of construction, which will see the building of a Chinese whisky industrial park to provide fundamental industrial chain support to facilitate the accelerated construction of a renowned Chinese whisky production area for Dali. Upstream and downstream service enterprises in the whisky industry will be brought together, building an industrial ecosystem including third-party R&D institutions, equipment and packaging material factories, oak barrel manufacturing plants, farms for growing raw materials, investment funds, warehousing/logistics/trading companies, service providers, etc.
With the signing of the Agreement, construction is set to begin on the initial phase of the project, and Dali, home to the Diageo Eryuan Whisky Distillery, thus welcomes another heavyweight whisky company. According to reports, plans for the Dali whisky production area include over thirty distilleries.
One after another, multinational giants and Chinese-funded enterprises have settled in Dali, largely due to the region’s unique natural conditions. Previous practice in production areas such as Taiwan, China, as well as years of research and testing and analysis results by industry giants, demonstrate that the best areas for Chinese whisky production areas are concentrated in the subtropical latitude range of 25-30 degrees north. There are many advantages to the climate in Dali, where winters aren’t severely cold, summers aren’t extremely hot, and pleasant scenery abounds. Dali is also the home of the first “officially confirmed” whisky production area strategy in mainland China, making it a true “promised land” of Chinese whisky.
According to the person in charge of the group's distillery project, thanks to the superior geographical environment of the project site at the foot of Mount Cangshan and along the shores of Erhai Lake, the construction of the distillery will be conducted with maximum respect for nature, in such a way that a harmonious coexistence with the environment will be achieved. Additionally, traditional handicraft methods will be used in multiple production steps, guaranteeing a consistent flavor while at the same time setting the distillery apart from the typical modern factory composed of cold machinery and better reflecting the temperature and emotional tone of "the home of Chinese whisky”.
Kylin Spirits Group also chose this location partly because it believes that Dali is an excellent place to put into practice its own definition of "Chinese single-origin whisky distilling philosophy": namely, the use of Chinese water, Chinese barley, Chinese peat, and Chinese oak casks to produce whisky distilled in China and endowed with the values of Chinese culture.
Mount Cangshan in Dali was designated as a UNESCO Global Geopark, and the famous “nineteen peaks and eighteen streams” provide a sufficient volume of water of excellent quality and with consistent characteristics. After testing and analysis, the water has been found to be very suitable for the distilling of malt whisky. The Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau is abundant in high-quality barley, and Dali has a history of barley cultivation for nearly 3,000 years. Dali's local high-quality water, the liquor distilled from barley, the "Chinese cask" crafted out of Mongolian oak sourced from Changbai Mountains, and the magical flavour of Chinese peat form a perfect representation of the distinctive "Chinese flavour” bred out of 9.6 million square kilometres of land.
Kylin Spirits Group's Founder and CEO Jason Xiang said, "A legendary entrepreneur in the whisky industry will serve as the Chairman of the firm and our Master Distiller is an acclaimed figure who successfully launched a number of highly-recognised brands. They will both work with the Chinese team on the distillery project. Please stay tuned for our future development.”
We have reason to believe that the upcoming Kylin Spirits Group (Dali) Malt Whisky Distillery will help turn China's Dali production area into one of the world's foremost whisky production areas, commencing a legendary new chapter in the global history of whisky production.