At the 16th China International Wine Industry Development Forum, Sun Baoguo, academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and President of Beijing Technology and Business University, talked about the history of wine technology development in the Qing Dynasty from the origin of wine. Academician Sun Baoguo believes that Chinese wine is unique in the world, but Chinese wine still has a long way to go to the world. The following is the full text of the speech:
The origin of national wine
Everyone knows that baijiu and rice wine are China’s national wine. Who made the earliest wine? Some people say it’s brewed by monkeys, and some say it’s brewed by Dukang. In fact, the earliest wine was brewed by ancient ancestors, earlier than Dukang’s time.
There are two prerequisites for the large-scale winemaking of human beings. The first is to have a container for winemaking, which is the Chinese invention of the pottery jar; the second is to have the raw materials for winemaking. The earliest raw material for making wine may be fruit. Because everyone knows that fruits contain glucose, which is the easiest to alcoholize into wine. For large-scale brewing, we must have grain for brewing with grain, and rice. The planting of rice is also a very important prerequisite. How long is the history of rice cultivation in China? Modern textual research is that rice began to be grown 14,000 years ago.
The development of national wine
Talking about the history of national wine, we should first talk about rice wine. When did the earliest winemaking begin? Here is an article published in the United States. Here are a few words:”The origin of world winemaking is likely to be in China. Chinese people have mastered the winemaking technology 9,000 years ago. At that time, the raw materials for winemaking may be rice, honey, grapes and hawthorn.”
According to the textual research of the Henan Jiahu site culture, the history of winemaking in China should be 9,000 years ago. This is fermented rice, some called rice wine, and some called glutinous rice. The alcohol content is still relatively low. With the continuous advancement of winemaking technology, the alcohol content is constantly improving, and the rice wine with a relatively high alcohol content is filtered to become yellow wine. Archaeological findings indicate that the Hemudu site in Zhejiang has evidence that China made yellow wine more than 7000 years ago. The original weaving machine was also found in this site. With cloth, the rice wine can be filtered out. Many places in China, such as Daixian rice wine, are still filtered with cloth.
This is the earliest”Book of Songs” in China. There are more than 50 chapters in the Book of Songs that introduce the history of winemaking and drinking. It has been more than two thousand years. This is a written record, all of which were discovered by archaeology.
How many years is the history of Chinese liquor? With rice wine, another 5,000 years later, the still was invented. The tomb of Haihunhou was discovered in Nanchang in 2015. The discovery of the distiller inside brought the history of Chinese distilled spirits to more than 2,000 years ago. So when did the history of Chinese wine begin? Many people say that it started from the Yuan Dynasty, in fact, from the Western Han Dynasty, but it has only been six years since archaeological discoveries.
The history of the development of Chinese white wine and rice wine is probably like this:first there was rice wine, and the rice wine was filtered after it had a high degree. After filtration, there was rice wine, and after the rice wine was distilled, it became white wine. The earliest white wine in China may not have been fermented in solid state, but rice wine was steamed.
We say that alcohol and medicine are of the same origin, and alcohol is the primer of medicine. Drinking alcohol in moderation is good for health. The expression of medicinal liquor began in the Shang and Zhou dynasties.
The history of science and technology of winemaking
The history of science and technology of winemaking in China, it should be said that there has been winemaking technology since we began to make wine, but it is a pity that there is no written record. The scientific and technological history of winemaking in China should have started in the San Qin era. There were”Six Methods of Ancient Relics” in the”Historical Records” in the San Qin era, including the raw materials, distiller’s yeast and temperature of the wine.
During the Han Dynasty, there was Jiu Jiangchun wine. Cao Cao dedicated his hometown Jiu Jiangchun wine to Emperor Xian of the Han Dynasty, and the wine making method of Jiu Jiangchun wine. Kirin wine warming device is an orphan cultural relic of the Han Dynasty unearthed in Luzhou, which pushed the history of Luzhou wine and drinking to more than two thousand years ago.
By the time of the Northern and Southern Dynasties, everyone knows that there is”The Qi Min Yao Shu”, which is about the technology of wine making in the Yellow River Basin. There are 9 kinds of koji and more than 40 kinds of wine making methods. I also mentioned that winemaking in spring and autumn is better. This is consistent with the fact that winemaking in the lower reaches of the Yellow River is not possible in summer. Winemaking in spring and autumn is exactly the same.
In the Yuan Dynasty, everyone knows that Guo Huaiyu, the father of composing, invented Daqu, and solid-state winemaking with Daqu liquor began at least in the Yuan Dynasty. Before this, many of them were liquefied.
Ming Dynasty, Li Shizhen’s”Compendium of Materia Medica” also recorded many wine-making methods. Including 59 kinds of medicinal wine methods. In Li Shizhen’s Compendium of Materia Medica, it is said that the rice wine becomes shochu after being steamed, and it also reflects that the earliest white wine may be steamed from rice wine.
By the time of the Qing Dynasty, winemaking technology was quite mature, and there were many wine-making literature records. I won’t repeat them one by one.
The distiller is an important invention in the history of winemaking
Finally, let’s talk about the distiller. Liquor is a distilled spirit, the first of the four major distilled spirits. Without a distiller, there is no distillation of wine. The earliest distiller was discovered in the tomb of Nanchang Haihunhou in 2015. Haiyunhou was an emperor, a king, and a prince. It makes sense to find a still in his tomb. The distiller from the Eastern Han Dynasty is preserved in the Shanghai Museum. This distiller is very similar in structure to the distiller of the tomb of Haihunhou. In the Jin Dynasty, a bronze distiller from the Jin Dynasty was discovered in Chengde, Hebei.
Finally, to make a summary, rice wine and white wine is China’s national wine. Chinese rice wine has a history of more than 9,000 years, Chinese rice wine has a history of more than 7,000 years, and Chinese liquor has a history of more than 2,000 years. Chinese wine is unique in the world, but there is still a long way for Chinese wine to go to the world. Therefore, letting the world taste Chinese liquor and making liquor go to the world is the mission and wish of every one of us in the Chinese wine industry.