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Scientific Value of Shaoxing Yellow Rice Wine


1. Wine was discovered by accident. However, people's conscious brewing of wine is a labor practice which reflects from one aspect the level of productivity at that time.

It is a general belief that the wine industry started with surplus grain. As legend has it, once Dukang, `Discoverer of Wine', kept some surplus food in a tree hole, where the food fermented and gave out a fragrant smell. This was how wine originated and no magical formula was involved in the process. Though wine was initially created by Nature and discovered by accident, it did not truly meet people's consumption demand before people began to ferment, improve and perfect it in a conscious way. It can be safely said that wine is a product of labor practice. In the meantime, the appearance of wine and wine sets reflect from an aspect the level of productivity and people's capacity of aesthetic appreciation at that time. It is not uneasy to see from the Hemudu culture to the Lianzhu culture the splendid civilization created by the diligent and intelligent ancient Chinese people on this land. Thanks to the improvements of artificial cultivation and farm implements, the rice output then was fairly affluent, which supplied the basic condition for wine making. At the two site, a considerable amount of artificial cultivated paddy rice and many pottery wine containers were unearthed, which showed that the people then had bid farewell to the stage of slash-and-bun agriculture and entered a new stage in which people used farm implements to sow and practiced widespread cultivation. The conditions for using yeasts to make wine were present. Though we can not gain a thorough knowledge of the level wine making at that time, there is one point that we are certain of: it was not until agricultural production was sufficiently developed that grain was used for brewing purpose, and wine was the outcome of people`s production and life practice over a long time.

2. The reputation of Shaoxing yellow Rice Wine should be attributed to the unique water in the Mirror Lake (Jianhu Lake), which has been shaped by the interplay between natural forces and artificial transformation and by generations after generations of Shaoxing people's struggle against nature, scientific exploration and nature transformation.

In remote antiquity, Shaoxing used to be a place infested with foods from Kuaiji Hill standing to its south and the Qiantang River flowing to its north. Because of the salty water and alkaline land on the Shaoxing Plains, the environment there was extremely unfavorable for living. On an effort to harness the water, Yu spent 13 years outside without returning home. He managed to reclaim the Great Yue from the floods and eventually completed his job at the Liaoxi River (now the Yanxi River). However, the Yue people were still troubled with constant floods and the region still had not an unobstructed flood discharge system. It was not until the year 140 (the 5"h year of Yonghe in the Eastern Han Dynasty) that Ma Zhen, Prefect of Kuaiji, organized the people to build the oldest large reservoir in South China -- the Mirror Lake, which pools together the 36 water sources at the northern foot of Kuaiji Hill and irritates the vast land in the vicinities. As a result of the water conservancy projects in the following dynasties: the canal during the Jin Dynasty, the sea walls during the Tang Dynasty, and the Sanjiang Gate during the Ming Dynasty, the Ningshao Plains gradually became a land of abundance.

The water of the Mirror Lake stemmed from the hilly areas with Kuaiji Hill at the centre. Having undergone a natural purifying and filtering process through rock strata and sand, it gains a rich content of trace minerals and achieves a moderate hardness,which makes an ideal material for Shaoxing yellow Rice wine. It can be said that both the special wine and the Mirror Lake have been created due to the strenuous work of generations after generations of laboring people and their leaders; they are accomplishments made by Shaoxing people in their effort to develop scientifically and transform nature.

3. Over the past hundreds of years, ancient Chinese had accumulated rich experience in brewing. Today, the tradition and modernity of Shaoxing Yellow Rice Wine call for exploration and practice guided by the outlook of scientific outlook.

Though the `turbid mash' in the Spring and Autumn and Warring States Periods was the oldest record of wine in Shaoxing, it was different from the currently prevalent Shaoxing yellow rice wine. It was during the Southern Dynasty that wine named after Shaoxing first appeared. As recorded in Jin Lou Zi (or Collection of the Scholar in the Golden Mansion) by Xiao Yi, Emperor of Liang, 'I have a silver bowl to contain Shanyin sweet wine.' People of later generations believe that Shaoxing yellow rice wine has originated from this 'sweet wine', considering its slight sweetness. Shaoxing yellow rice wine was not officially named until the Song Dynasty. In 1131, Zhao Gou, the Emperor adopted the reign title `Shaoxing', wishing to `carry on (shao) the great bliss of the previous dynasties and promote (xing) the grand enterprise started by the forefathers'. Yue County was elevated to Shaoxing Prefecture. This was how the name Shaoxing originated. Because Shaoxing became the political and economic center of the South, as a tribute, Shaoxing yellow rice wine was delivered in large quantities into the imperial palace. During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, a lot of large-scale wine workshops sprang up in the area, so the wine became increasingly varied or diversified and received an honorary gold medal for top-grade wine issued by the imperial government. As a result, the wine from Yue was popular all over China'.

The growth of Shaoxing yellow rice wine from the initial 'turbid mash`, 'Shanyin sweet wine' to a famous wine popular all over the world suggested that Shaoxing yellow rice wine had been constantly improving itself. The Shaoxing people have eventually developed their unique brewing techniques: first, they soak rice in water for 10-15 days before they stir the rice manually with bamboo rakes; then they brew the rice for over 100 days and store the wine they get in a way that it never goes bad. These techniques and procedures have attained perfection thanks to countless brewers` practice and experience accumulation through hundreds of years. It has been proved that this precious experience conforms to relevant modern scientific theories.

People drink yellow rice wine, to meet either their physical needs, or psychological needs, or both. People have made constant innovations to improve the color, aroma and taste of the wine in response to their aesthetic needs. They have also acquired aesthetic pleasure while enjoying the wine. Of course, people of different times or at different levels may have varied expectations or feelings of Shaoxing yellow rice wine. Under the influence of the consumption trend, the taste of Shaoxing yellow rice wine has constantly improved with the progress of society. As inferred by Mr. Zhou Zuoren, `Shaoxing yellow rice wine was initially bitter and biting; with the passage of time, it has gradually become milder, as it is today.'

Nowadays, the changing consumption tread of yellow rice wine and the increasing diversification of individual consumers are posing unprecedented challenges to traditional yellow rice wine. It has become the most urgent mission for the wine industry in Shaoxing to inherit traditions and achieve development by innovation. Production of yellow rice wine with the traditional techniques has been out of vogue. This requires us to transform the old mindset and comprehend the objective laws in the traditional techniques with the aid and guidance of the outlook of scientific development so that we can apply the laws to direct our production and to meet the needs of modern consumers. This is what our study on the scientific values of Shaoxing yellow rice wine has revealed to us.

Business Type:Manufacturer
Product Range:Alcohol & Hydroxybenzene & Ether
Products/Service:Shaoxing wine , Fruit wine , Huadiao wine , Jarred Wine , Rice wine , Lao Jiu
Certificate:HACCP , ISO14001 , ISO9001 , Test Report
Company Address:Beihai Bridge Shaoxiang Zhejiang China, Shaoxing, Zhejiang, China

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