Global spirits group Diageo plans to invest $75m to build its first single malt whisky distillery in China. Construction is expected to debut early this year.
In a bid to tap into China’s growing premium whisky market, Diageo is taking a local approach with its first distillery in the country, Eryuan Malt Whisky Distillery. The company broke ground in November 2021 in Eryuan Count, Yunnan Province, a site chosen for its “temperate climate, rich biodiversity and access to spring water”. The distillery will produce single malt whisky. The future 66,000m2 distillery will source its water supply from a nearby natural highland lake. The group plans to develop ingredients and a maturation process unique to Chinese single malt. “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,” explains Diageo Asia Pacific and Global Travel President, Sam Fischer.
In line with Diageo’s Society 2030: Spirit of Progress 10-year sustainability strategy, the distillery is designed to be carbon neutral and zero-waste, through the use of renewable and clean technologies, including recycling all waste water; the company is working on achieving net-zero carbon across its full network by 2050. In order to contribute to local tourism, the Group unveiled plans for an interactive visitor centre on site.