Since I had never been in a Chinese factory before, going to Wuliangye’s factory was a memorable experience for me. When I stepped into workshop 523, I could see Wuliangye’s employees hard at work spreading out the five fermented grains of Wuliangye’s signature baijiu. I could tell early on that the workers were committed to making the finest baijiu imaginable for their company. I expected the workers to look at me when I looked at them, but instead they continued to work. I found their commitment to their jobs admirable.
I was given a chance to taste a fresh batch of the baijiu in the factory; the baijiu was strong, but pure. Compared to most of the liquors that I have tasted in my lifetime, Wuliangye’s baijiu went down smooth. I felt like I was having a genuine Chinese experience when drinking Wuliangye’s baijiu. It was at this point that I learned that Wuliangye has kept the tradition of their formula for decades. To think that a baijiu could be made at such a high quality was astounding to me.Besides,we felt honored to be welcomed by LiuYoujin,the liquor-making technical expert of Wuliangye.Mr.Liu talked about the special techniques and philosophy of Wuliangye Group, which made me respect the company even more.
Outside of the Wuliangye factory, I saw a couple of mushroom sculptures. I learned that the mushroom sculptures were there to represent the microorganisms to ferment the five grains. This is an important part of the fermentation process. Only after the fermentation by the microorganism can the Wuliangye baijiu be made. The microorganisms in the cellar of Wuliangye are unique. Only when the five grains are fermented can they make the authentic Wuliangye baijiu which makes it so valuable and special. I found the history behind the microorganisms to be a fascinating aspect of the Wuliangye company.
After going to the factory, we were given a tour of Yibin, the area where Wuliangye headquarters is located. The tour guide was extremely hospitable, he was always willing to tell us more about Chinese culture and how Wuliangye plays into that culture.
In China, toasting people during a meal is a sign of respect. With Wuliangye being the highest quality baijiu in China, toasting with Wuliangye is the greatest amount respect that a person can give. So, for me, when I was toasted to by the tour guide by Wuliangye, I felt humbled and honored.
After my experience in the Wuliangye factory, I hope that I’ll be able to purchase Wuliangye baijiu when I get back home to America. I enjoyed the baijiu when I first tasted it, and learning about how Wuliangye baijiu is made along with the tour of Yibin that we received shortly after made me respect Wuliangye as a company. I will always keep the memories of the Wuliangye factory in my heart, for it was one of the most memorable places that I visited during my stay in China. I thank Wuliangye and their staff for what was an unforgettable and memorable experience.