Named after the place of origin and produced only along the Chishui River in Moutai Town of China's Guizhou Province, Moutai is the originator and typical representative of China's koji Jiang fragrance liquor, and the "national liquor" of China.
Since a century ago,Moutai has shared the title of "World's Top Three Distilled Liquors" with French Cognac brandy and Scotch whisky. Moutai has a long history.
In 135 BC, its predecessor, the Jujiang liquor produced around the current Moutai Town was chosen as an imperial tribute.
In 1915, Moutai won the gold prize at the Panama Pacific International Exposition.
Today, the ancient traditional technique is perfectly integrated with modern technology to create the No. 1 distilled liquor brand and one of the most valuable spirit brands in the world, "Kweichow Moutai".
Moutai is a brand of baijiu, a distilled Chinese liquor (spirit), made in the town of Moutai in China's Guizhou province. Produced by the state-owned Kweichow Moutai Company, the beverage is distilled from fermented sorghum and now comes in several different varieties.
Moutai originated during the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911), when northern Chinese distillers introduced advanced techniques to local processes to create a distinctive type of baijiu. Thereafter Moutai was produced at several local distilleries. During the Chinese Civil War, People's Liberation Army forces camped at Moutai and partook of the local liquor. Following the Communist victory in the war, the government consolidated the local distilleries into one state-owned company, Kweichow Moutai (the name is an old romanization of "Guizhou Moutai"). It became a popular drink at state functions and one of the country's most popular spirits.
Moutai became the first Chinese liquor to be produced in large-scale production, with an annual output of 170 tons. In 2007, more than 6,800 tons of Moutai were sold. Moutai is named after the town with the same name near Zunyi in Renhuai, Guizhou Province, where liquor distillery has a very long history. The Moutai of today originated during the Qing Dynasty and first won international fame when winning a gold medal at the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco.
Moutai was named a national liquor in 1951, two years after the founding of People's Republic of China. Moutai also claimed two gold medals separately at the Paris International Exposition in 1985 and 1986. Moutai has won 14 international awards and 20 domestic awards since the Chinese Revolution.
Moutai has been used on official occasions in feasts with foreign heads of state and distinguished guests visiting China. It is the only alcoholic beverage presented as an official gift by Chinese embassies in foreign countries and regions. It received wide exposure in China and abroad when Zhou Enlai used the liquor to entertain Richard Nixon during the state banquet for the U.S. presidential visit to China in 1972. Zhou told Nixon that Moutai had been famous since it won recognition at the San Francisco World's Fair in 1915, and that during the Long March, "Moutai was used by us to cure all kinds of diseases and wounds." Nixon replied, "let me make a toast with this panacea." When Deng Xiaoping visited the United States in 1979, Henry Kissinger told him “I think if we drink enough Moutai we can solve anything.”
Moutai became both the drink of choice for greeting foreign dignitaries and the bribe of choice to high officials. Counterfeiters moved in to meet the new demand, and other distilleries copied the methods of the state-owned enterprise.
Moutai currently sells over 200 tons of Moutai to over 100 countries and regions across the world.
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