China Italy Wine

Italian wine show debuts on China’s biggest streaming platform

Leading Italian wine company, Ethica Wines, has united with China’s first Master of Wine, Fongyee Walker MW, to launch the first-ever Italian wine tourism TV show called “Carpe Vinum”.

Leading Italian wine company, Ethica Wines, has united with China’s first Master of Wine, Fongyee Walker MW, to launch the first-ever Italian wine tourism TV show called “Carpe Vinum”.

The 10-episode show will be aired on the country’s biggest streaming service platform, Youku, or China’s Netflix, starting from March 12. Two other leading streaming platforms, Iqiyi and Bilibili, will also air the show simultaneously.

The show’s title means take the wine in Latin. It comes from the famous line by Roman poet Horace: carpe diem or seize the day (in other words, make the most of every day of life).

The main goal for the producer of the show, Ethica Wines, is to demystify wine and to make the process of choosing an Italian wine fun and entertaining.

It’s the rare wine education show that gets the balance right – not too geeky, not too simple, and with each episode set at a picturesque and historical wine region that keeps viewers engaged. 

From visiting the oldest winery in Italy to exploring the volcanic wines in Etna to discovering the exotic orange wines made on the Italy-Slovenia border, the show follows Fongyee for an inside look at the tradition, dedication and the magic that goes into producing a bottle of wine.

“One of the main goals of the new show,” says Ethica Wines CEO Francesco Ganz, “was to create consumer-friendly content for the Chinese market. In the past, winemakers have relied on trade-focused, technical presentations and tastings to promote their products. But this approach has often failed to address the interests of the Chinese audience. In a time when people cannot travel to their favorite wineries and wine regions, the ‘wine lover-focused’ production creates a wonderful balance between education and pure entertainment. And it gives the viewer the opportunity to experience the wineries as if they themselves were there in person.”

“Carpe Vinum” is also the first Italian wine tourism television show to be filmed with a Master of Wine in Chinese in order to reach a wider audience of wine lovers and gourmands in the country.

This show marks a break from conventional wine programs that are often pedantic and archaic.

Throughout each of the episodes, the show’s host strives instead to make the experience fun, making it a new and inviting experience for those who love wine but still feel intimidated by the wine world’s perceived snobbery.

In the age of social distancing, it also has the rare quality to transport viewers to different parts of Italy’s famed wine regions while sitting in the comfort of their homes.

“I personally believe that the best way to understand Italian wine is to experience it and I hope this programme will encourage people to taste more Italian wines to understand themselves more about this ancient wine producing country. It’s also a great chance to travel to wineries without having to 隔离 (quarantine), “says Fongyee Walker MW, the first Chinese to gain the prestigious Master of Wine title.

The production comes on the heels of Ethica Wines’ first foray into wine tourism television, “Kiss Kiss,” a smash hit in China that combined wine touring with reality television.

Over the course of its first season, “Kiss Kiss” follows a young Chinese actress and influencer as she visits top Italian wineries and meets potential suitors at each estate. The show’s popularity led the producers to create what they believe is yet another innovative production in terms of its originality and impact. Where the emphasis in “Kiss Kiss” has been a blend of lifestyle, adventure, and wine tourism, “Carpe Vinum” is intended to combine wine education and wine tourism in a novel and entertaining way.  

The show’s first season includes 10 episodes and it takes viewers on a tour of some of Italy’s most renowned and scenic wine regions, including Piedmont, Tuscany, Mt. Etna in Sicily, and Venice, just to name of few.

1. Chianti

2. Super Tuscans and the Maremma Coast

3. Franciacorta

4. Piedmont

5. Barolo

6. Sicily

7. Puglia

8. Trento

9. Prosecco

10. Natural wine

The episode will be aired every Fridays on Youku, and the wines featured in the film are available for purchase on the mainland via Tmall.com. While viewing the shows, they can scan a QR code on the screen that will take them directly to the wine’s product page, including information about the wine and tasting notes.

Youku is China’s biggest streaming platform with more than 500 million active users each month. Known as “China’s Netflix”, Youku also hosts “Kiss Kiss”.

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