Global liquor giant Diageo has broken ground on the site of its first malt whisky distillery in China.

Located in Eryuan County in Yunnan Province, the Diageo Eryuan Malt Whisky Distillery will produce Diageo’s first China-origin, single malt whisky.

Details of the US$75 million investment were officially unveiled at a special ceremony in Eryuan, attended by provincial and local government officials, industry representatives, and the local community.

“China is the world’s largest beverage alcohol market and the demand for whisky is growing rapidly among middle-class consumers who are keen to further discover and enjoy fine whiskies,” said Sam Fischer, President, Diageo Asia Pacific and Global Travel.

At more than 2,100 meters above sea level, the site of the 66,000 square meter distillery was carefully selected for its temperate climate, rich natural biodiversity, and access to natural spring water that is a source of the second largest highland lake, Erhai Lake, in Yunnan.

“The natural surroundings and the Eryuan landscape will allow us to craft a world-class, China-origin, single malt whisky that will capture the imagination of premium whisky lovers in China,” said Fischer.

The site will feature an immersive and interactive visitor centre that will attract whisky enthusiasts and boost the local cultural tourism industry.

Construction is expected to begin in early 2022.

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