EVENT ALERT: Chinese Wine Symposium at U.C. Davis on March 26th


“Foodies, wine and beverage industry professionals, and academics will explore the history and modern appreciation of Chinese alcoholic beverages, or “jiu,” at a daylong conference at UC Davis on March 26.

Photo by Flickr user  Kentaro IEMOTO (https://www.flickr.com/photos/kentaroiemoto/15234346464)

Photo by Flickr user Kentaro IEMOTO (https://www.flickr.com/photos/kentaroiemoto/15234346464)

“Understanding Jiu: The History and Culture of Alcoholic Beverages in China” is organized by the Confucius Institute at UC Davis and open to the public.

About 10 sessions will cover the oldest archaeological data to the current explosion of interest in quality grape wine. Among the sessions:

  • Patrick E. McGovern, scientific director of the Biomolecular Archaeology Laboratory for Cuisine, Fermented Beverages and Health at the University of Pennsylvania Museum in Philadelphia, will speak on “Uncorking the Past: The Quest for China’s Ancient Fermented Beverages”;
  • Cecilia Chang, former owner of the Mandarin Restaurant in San Francisco, will offer a personal perspective on current drinking practices; and
  • Darrell Corti of Corti Brothers, specialty food and wine merchants in Sacramento, will lead a panel discussion with the audience.

Complete Program

Welcome and Introduction

Andrew L. Waterhouse, Symposium Organizer, Professor of Viticulture and Enology, and Faculty Director for the Confucius Institute at UC Davis

Ralph J. Hexter, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor and Distinguished Professor of Classics and Comparative Literature, UC Davis

Morning Session: Historical Issues

Chair: Andrew L. Waterhouse

Uncorking the Past: The Quest for China’s Ancient Fermented Beverages
Patrick E. McGovern, Biomolecular Archaeology Project at the University of Pennsylvania Museum in Philadelphia, PA and Adjunct Professor of Anthropology and Consulting Scholar in the Near East Section, University of Pennsylvania

The Historical Development of Chinese Liquor Development
Hua Li, Professor and Honorary Dean, Northwest A&F University, China

‘Bring the Wine!’: Jiu Culture and Classical Chinese Poetry
Michelle Yeh, Professor and Department Chair of East Asian Languages and Cultures, and Director of the Confucius Institute at UC Davis

Jiu Is a Many-Splendored Thing: The Poetics of Wine-Drinking in Traditional Chinese Culture
Daan Pan, Professor of English, California State Polytechnic University Pomona

Wine Road before the Silk Road – Hypotheses of the Origins of Chinese and Eurasian Drinking Culture
Peter Kupfer, Professor, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany

Afternoon Session: Current Issues

History and technology of Traditional Chinese alcoholic beverage: baijiu and huangjiu
Xu Yan, Professor and Vice President, Jiangnan University, Wuxi, China, and vice chairman of China Alcoholic Drinks Association

Innovations in Beer in China
Xiang Yin, Global Technical and Innovation Director, Cargill Malt, Minneapolis, MN

Grape Wine Today in China
Jiang Lu, Ph.D., Professor, Viticulture and Enology Program, College of Food Sciences and Nutritional Engineering, China Agricultural University, Beijing, P.R. China

Consumption of Jiu and Attitudes of Alcohol Consumption in Modern China
Cecilia Chiang, formerly of “The Mandarin” Restaurant, San Francisco, CA

Speaker Panel

Moderated by Darrell Corti, Corti Brothers, Grocers and Wine Merchants in Sacramento

Photo by Flickr user prayitnophotography (https://www.flickr.com/photos/prayitnophotography/4118322594/in/photolist-)

Photo by Flickr user prayitnophotography (https://www.flickr.com/photos/prayitnophotography/4118322594/in/photolist-)

Registration Information

The symposium, to be held at the Sensory Theater at the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, will be followed by a wide-ranging tasting of Chinese jiu, a tour of the RMI Teaching and Research Winery, and a Chinese-inspired gala dinner. The dinner will feature a keynote address on marketing wine to China.

Early bird tickets are $25 for the symposium; $75 for the gala dinner, tour and tasting; or $85 for both. Fees increase on March 12. Register online.

The event is sponsored by China’s Jiangnan University, the Department of Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis, the Robert Mondavi Institute, and East Asian Languages and Cultures at UC Davis, as well as the Wine Institute, an advocacy group for the California wine industry.”

About the Confucius Institute at UC Davis

The Confucius Institute at UC Davis combines signature strengths of UC Davis and Jiangnan University as world leaders in food and beverage science and technology to promote understanding of Chinese food and beverage culture. The institute offers workshops, lectures and cultural events for the campus and the public.

About UC Davis

UC Davis is a global community of individuals united to better humanity and our natural world while seeking solutions to some of our most pressing challenges. Located near the California state capital, UC Davis has more than 34,000 students, and the full-time equivalent of 4,100 faculty and other academics and 17,400 staff. The campus has an annual research budget of over $750 million, a comprehensive health system and about two dozen specialized research centers. The university offers interdisciplinary graduate study and 99 undergraduate majors in four colleges and six professional schools.

Additional information:
Jiu conference program
Registration and information
Confucius Institute at UC Davis

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