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China is Barossa loving

China is Barossa loving

A book about the Barossa has flown off shelves in China, further confirming the country’s love affair with the Valley.

“Barossa Loving”, believed to be the first book about the Australian wine industry printed in Chinese and not translated from English, was written by Chinese author and Adelaide University graduate, Dr. Mai Li.

Mai’s Barossa connection harks back to 2015 when she did the “China Ready” project with Barossa Grape and Wine Association after completing her PhD.

Working with James March and the BGWA for three months, her SA government funded research for the China Ready project report enabled her to connect with many Barossa wine industry leaders and characters.

“It was my responsibility to put everything together to promote this region,” Mai said of her initial project.

Such was her love for the area, she spent six months collecting material about the people behind the Barossa and, following a year of writing back home in China, she self-published her book.

“I came to realise…Barossa can represent the past, nowadays and the future of Australian wine with its culture, its marketing orientation and the passionate people here,” said Mai.

She said China appreciated the history of Bordeaux, Burgundy and other iconic wine regions and believed Barossa needed to be added to the list.

“This book is actually telling them hey guys, it’s not only Italy or France that have the great history, Barossa also has,” said Mai.

“I want to show the whole picture of Barossa to Chinese consumers so when they think of Barossa they will cherish the wine they drink in the glass more and they will understand the culture and the history of the Barossa more.

“In writing this book, I think more consumers will love the Barossa as I do.”

Flicking through the more than 420 pages, familiar names in bold print stand out amongst complex looking Chinese writing that surround images of wine bottles and local food and wine identities including the likes of Colin Gramp, Jan and John Angas and the late Carl Lindner.

Mai divides her book into four sections: College of Ancestors, College of Barossa Dream, College of Mentors and College of New Star. She also includes copies of handwritten notes from all who feature.

“I ask them why they love Barossa,” said Mai. 

Because of the difficulty in accessing websites in China, Mai’s book has proven to be a gold mine of information for those seeking to delve beyond the big wineries. The first print run has already sold out.

“They might know the name Barossa but they want to know more,” Mai said.

For the full story see this week’s edition of The Leader.