maotai 茅台酒

The first Chinese liquor originating from the Qing Dynasty. It was named after a town called Maotai 茅台镇 in Guizhou 贵州 Province. Maotai has a pure, mellow soy sauce-like fragrance. It is a distilled product from fermented sorghum which is a type of grass.

During the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911), Maotai 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 Maotai were sold. Maotai is named after the town with the same name near Zunyi in Renhuai, Guizhou Province, where liquor distillery has a very long history. The Maotai 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. In addition, Maotai was also named a national liquor in 1951, two years after the founding of People's Republic of China. Maotai also claimed two gold medals separately at the Paris International Exposition in 1985 and 1986. Maotai has won 14 international awards and 20 domestic awards since the Chinese Revolution.

Maotai 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 additional 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. It is one of China's official state banquet alcoholic drinks and claimed by Chinese to be one of the world's three best known spirits (together with whisky and cognac) and is therefore presented to all official guests of state.

Maotai current sells over 200 tons of Maotai to over 100 countries and regions across the world.

In 2006, Maotai reported 5.3 billion yuan (about 688.3 million dollars) in sales volume, compared to about 4.2 billion yuan (about 538.46 million dollars) in 2005


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