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My Wine Princess
Vicki Zhao excels as an actress and director, but how does she fare as a winemaker after buying four Bordeaux châteaux? June Lee gets face time with the Chinese celebrity at the official launch of Château Monlot in Singapore.

Bordeaux has always attracted investors, from royalty to businessmen to celebrities. That Chinese wine lovers are now counted among them isn’t news anymore, but back in 2011 when bonafide film star Vicki Zhao Wei made her first winery purchase, tongues wagged and pundits fretted. Decanter reported that she may have paid between €4 and €5 million for the midrange, attractive St. Emillon Grand Cru château with eight hectares of vineyards.

In winemaking, changes take a long time to implement, and eight years of diligent improvements have passed by at Château Monlot. It’s also taken a while for her wines to reach Singapore. Zhao has chosen Grand Cru, a wine concierge and bar in The Fullerton Hotel Singapore as her exclusive retailer, thanks to a series of coincidences that took place after she cast Singaporean actor Li Nanxing in her latest web drama, Everyone Wants To Meet You. Li enjoyed Château Monlot so much while drinking with Zhao in China that he encouraged her to make it available in Singapore. In Mandarin, Zhao quips, “Singapore has lots of the best things in the world including red wines. So I feel that it should also have our wines.”

A FLAVOUR PROFILER

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November 2019

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