The morning after the night before, and it was with thick heads, but no shortage of enthusiasm, that we took in some genuine Yantai cultural history. A visit to Changyu Wine Culture Museum turned out to be one of the highlights of the trip so far.
The ornate inner-city museum was formerly the original base of Changyu, one of Yantai’s best-known wine producers. We learnt how the wine has been enjoyed by leading Chinese figures since the brand's inception way back in 1892. Pictures of leading figures throughout China's history enjoying Changyu adorn the exhibition hall. The pedigree of the vino hit home as we viewed pictures of figureheads such as Chairman Mao and Chou En Lai enjoying a glass of Changyu.
We were then treated to a guided tour around the cellars, where we were shown the gigantic imported oak barrels from France which were over 100 years old. Some of the barrels were able to store up to 15 tons of wine or a staggering 30'000 bottles; now that would be some party!
After emerging from the dungeon-like cellars we were brought back to our senses with a sample of some vintage cabernet sauvignon. At least, that's what we thought. We were actually treated to an early morning snifter of brandy. Though delicious, coupled with tender heads from the night before, it wasn't quite what the doctor ordered for me and some of our colleagues.
No let up in our busy schedule though. Tomorrow we attend the opening ceremony of the 3rd Yantai International Wine Festival, and we can all look forward to sampling some more of the world's finest wines.