Pernod Ricard has announced plans to build a malt whisky distillery in Sichuan, China with a $150 million investment for the next decade. According to the worldwide alcohol producer, this is to be China’s first distillery from an international spirits and wine group.
The distillery will be situated in Emeishan, Sichuan covering 13 hectares with whisky production due to start in 2021. There are plans to open an immersive visitor centre within the distillery in 2021, with the intentions of becoming a tourist destination that attracts over two million tourists over the first decade.
With these ambitions set, China-based award-winning architects, Neri&Hu have been appointed to design the distillery as a new cultural icon that celebrates the local culture and the brand’s spirit of innovation.
Known for their work for the New Shanghai Theatre, Neri&Hu will adopt a vernacular design approach that prioritises the preservation of local resources and the environment. Pernod Ricard claims that the design method meets the goals of reducing its carbon footprint as part of its 2030 Sustainability & Responsibility roadmap.
Using influence from its native site, the distillery will build stone walls and rooftiles using natural materials extracted locally with the purpose of infusing history and local heritage into the design.
In response to this development, Philippe Guettat, Chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard Asia said: “The ground-breaking of the distillery signifies the beginning of a journey of innovation, expertise and dedication to craft a new, iconic malt whisky that embraces whisky history and heritage with a character unique to Chinese culture.
“It is both the symbol of our strong history with China after three decades of operation and the sign of our deep confidence into the future of international style spirits in this fascinating market.”
The Emeishan distillery is Pernod Ricards latest investment in expanding its whisky portfolio. Back in June the French company bought a majority stake in Rabbit Hole Whiskey, which was followed by its acquisition of Texas-based Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co last month and its deal in purchasing Castle Brands for $223 million.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020