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MAGAZINE, SEPTEMBER 2001. VOL. 8 ISSUE 9
Peek Inside the Taichung Winery
By Chen Ni-ang Translated by Cheryl Robbins
The Taichung Winery must be somewhere near the top of the list
when it comes to little-known tourist attractions in the city. However,
this interesting plant, together with its well-planned tourist facilities
and museum, make it well-worth a visit.
Taichung Winery was originally located in an old brick factory
on Fu Hsing Road behind the train station. This building had been
a city landmark since the Japanese colonial era. However, much of
the winery's facilities were outdated and unable to be upgraded
to meet the demands of modern industry and commerce. Thus, the facility
was moved to its present location in the Taichung Industrial Park
in July of 1998.
new facility is much larger than the old one, covering 21 hectares,
and houses state-of-the-art equipment and automated management
systems. In another change from the old factory, where all of
the products were manufactured behind closed doors, the new
industrial park winery is open to the public.
In addition to the manufacturing areas, there are a number of scenic
spots including gardens, a museum and product exhibition center.
In the museum are exhibits about the history and development of
Taiwan's wines and spirits, including production equipment used
in the past. In addition, the process of choosing raw materials
such as barley, wheat, sorghum and rice is introduced to visitors.
For groups of 20 or more persons, reservations can be made in advance
for a guided tour of the manufacturing facilities. The tour educates
about the steps involved in producing various kinds of hard liquor
including cleaning of the wheat, barley or rice, cooking, fermentation,
distillation, extraction, aging and packaging.
product exhibition center, which just opened last January, is
very popular. Here, visitors can sample and learn about many
of the winery's products. For example, Yuher Ever Health Chiew
(NT$600) contains 22 Chinese herbs. Ms. Liu, who works in the
says that is seven more herbs than in the best-selling herbal
wines from Japan. She claims that Yuher Ever Health Chiew will
cure whatever ails you and, if you're not sick, will add years
to your life. Although this is one of the unique products of
Taichung Winery, it is not heavily advertised because production
capacity is only 36,000 bottles per month--due to the complicated
Another product, Horng Hoar Chu (NT$280), undergoes three different
brewing processes. It is probably a good choice if you are planning
on getting drunk as it supposedly does not cause a nasty hangover.
It can be served hot or cold and its light taste makes it perfect
for mixing in cocktails. Yi Lu High-grade Distilled Liquor (NT$350)
is made from wheat and contains 40% alcohol.
There are also other products made at the winery which use wines
and spirits produced at the site, including "liquor eggs",
plums marinated in liquor, "liquor rice pudding", "liquor
jelly" and Yuher Ever Health Chiew rice pudding popsicles.
Much of the research and development was done in Puli. However,
when the Puli Winery collapsed during the 9-21 earthquake, some
of the staff from that facility moved to Taichung to continue working
on new products.
Also on the grounds of the Taichung winery is a very large auditorium.
When not in use, it can be rented for trade shows or other events.
For example, in September, Nike will be holding a product exhibition
there is a lot to see and do here, from strolling in the gardens
to learning about the history and production of Taiwan's traditional
wines and spirits to visiting special
It is worth mentioning that it is still possible to purchase
secondhand ceramic vessels that were used for storing liquor
at the old Fu Hsing Road site. These are the large vessels that
are often found on farms in the countryside or in places that
are trying to recapture the nostalgia of Taiwan's past. For
more information about how to purchase these vessels, call 04-2222-2017.
2, Taichung Industrial Park 28th Road
Hours: 8 am-5 pm daily