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As Chinese Buy French Vineyards, Names Like Château Imperial Rabbit Rattle Purists

来源:纽约时报    2019-04-09 03:26

        ARVEYRES, France — The rabbit — the “Imperial Rabbit” — looks out quietly from the vineyard’s sign, sandwiched between the familiar words ‘‘Great Wine of Bordeaux.’’        法国阿尔韦尔——兔子——还是只“御兔”——从葡萄园的标志上静静地向外看着,兔子两边是“波尔多卓越葡萄酒”这些熟悉的字眼。
        But there are no rabbits in this vineyard, imperial or otherwise. Nor are there any “Golden Rabbits” or “Tibetan Antelopes” or even “Grand Antelopes” in the vineyards not far away.        不过,不管是御兔还是普通兔子,这座葡萄园里都没有。离这儿不远的其他葡萄园里也没有“金兔”、“藏羚羊”,或者什么“大羚羊”。
        That has not stopped the new Chinese owner in one of France’s most fabled wine regions from naming his newly acquired chateaus after them — to more than a little consternation among tradition-bound French.        但这没能阻止法国最著名葡萄酒区之一的中国新主人用这些东西来命名他们新近收购的酒庄,让热衷于传统的法国人着实有点惊愕。
        “Up until now, the rabbit has not enjoyed a great reputation in the Bordeaux vineyards,’’ noted Le Résistant, the local newspaper in the regional capital, Libourne. ‘‘The trend has been, rather, to eradicate it.”        “直到现在,兔子在波尔多葡萄园里一直不享有好名声,”地区首府利布尔纳的当地报纸《抵抗报》(Le Résistant)写道。“其实,这里的趋向是要消灭它。”
        There is perhaps no place more synonymous with France and its tradition of fine wines than Bordeaux. The style of its long-aging, leathery blends of cabernet sauvignon and merlot, to name just two, have inspired American imitators and are sought after the world over, often at exorbitant prices.        恐怕没有什么地方像波尔多这样,可以作为法国及其美酒传统的代名词。这里的赤霞珠与梅洛——仅举其中两例——的长期陈放和皮革味的融混引来了美国人的效仿,并在世界各地广受欢迎,往往价格不菲。
        Yet despite the protestations when it comes to the Chinese, this story of invasion is not necessarily a new one for the region on the southwest coast of France.        然而,尽管对中国人的做法颇有微词,这种入侵在法国西南海岸这片地区却并不新鲜。
        For centuries, Bordeaux has adapted to foreign money and tastes, with a flexibility that belies the purists’ contention that tradition is inviolable.        几百年来,波尔多曾几度归顺于外国资本与口味,这种多变性有违传统不可侵犯的纯粹主义主张。
        Bordeaux accommodated the English when it was under their domination in the 12th and 13th centuries, as well as the Dutch who drained its marshes in the 17th century.        12至13世纪英国统治期间,波尔多迎合了英国人;它对17世纪抽干了这里的沼泽的荷兰人也是如此。
        It opened its cellars to the Germans during the Nazi occupation, and more recently it shifted its taste to accommodate the preferences of the California-influenced American wine critic Robert Parker.        纳粹占领期间,它的酒窖开放给了德国人;不久前则转变口味,开始迎合受加州影响的美国红酒评论家罗伯特·帕克(Robert Parker)的偏好。
        Bordeaux goes where the money is. And the money is now with the Chinese.        波尔多跟着金主走。如今金主是中国人。
        “It’s a good thing there are Chinese investors, most definitely. Because there are too many producers here, and there’s too much wine,’’ said Nan Hu, the director general of the Clos des Quatre Vents, the sumptuous property of a state-owned energy and real estate conglomerate from China. ‘‘So, we are important to Bordeaux.”        “中国投资人来是件好事,绝对如此。因为这里有太多生产商,酿了太多酒,”四方庄园(Clos des Quatre Vents)总裁胡楠说,该庄园是中国某国有能源、地产集团公司的奢华财产。“因此,我们对波尔多很重要。”
        Indeed, not all French here are so put out.        诚然,并非所有法国人都不满。
        One is Jean Pierre Amoreau, a celebrated maker of Bordeaux at Château Le Puy. Is he worried? “Not at all,” he said.        比如让·皮埃尔·阿莫乎(Jean Pierre Amoreau),他是勒庞酒庄(Château Le Puy)的知名波尔多葡萄酒酿酒师。他担心吗?“一点都不,”他说。
        The Chinese were helping a lot of owners who, because of high French inheritance taxes, often can’t afford to pass their properties on to children, he argued.        他认为中国人在帮助很多庄园主人,他们由于法国的高额遗产税,往往承受不起把财产留给子女的负担。
        ‘‘The Chinese have a lot of liquidity, so they are helping these owners have a decent retirement,” he said. “And they are helping to preserve the chateaus.”        “中国人有很多现金,所以他们正在帮助这些庄园主过上体面的退休生活,”他说。“中国人也在帮助保护这些庄园。”
        Jean-Marie Garde, a producer who heads the winemakers syndicate in the storied Pomerol district nearby, agreed, to a point.        酿酒商让-玛里·加德(Jean-Marie Garde)是附近有名的波美洛区(Pomerol)酿酒师联合会的负责人,他在一定程度上同意这种说法。
        “For the Chinese, we say, ‘Why not?’’’ Mr. Garde said. ‘‘They are present, but not that present.”        “对中国人,我们说,‘为什么不呢?’加德说。“他们来了,但他们并不呆在这里。”
        Still, “We’re all a little disconcerted by this name-changing,” Mr. Garde said. “And what’s a bit disconcerting, too, is that you never meet them,” he said of the new Chinese proprietors.        尽管如此,“我们都对这个名字的改变感到有点不安,”加德说。“还有一点令人不安的是,你从来都见不到他们,”他说,他指的是那些新的中国业主。
        Yet they have not been entirely invisible, either. It was startling, for some, to see the red Chinese flag floating above the Clos des Quatre Vents, within sight of the famous Château Margaux in the Médoc, maker of the highest ranked of all Bordeaux wines.        不过,他们也并非完全踪迹全无。对有些人来说,四方庄园上空飘扬的五星红旗有点吓人。从梅多克(Medoc)著名的玛歌庄园(Chateau Margaux)可以看到这面红旗,玛歌庄园酿造的是所有波尔多葡萄酒中排名最高的酒。
        Recently, the celebrated writer Philippe Sollers wrote a reproachful open letter to the mayor of Bordeaux, reflecting the anxiety coursing through the region and protesting what some saw as audacity in changing the names of historic chateaus.        最近,著名作家菲利浦·索莱尔斯(Philippe Sollers)给波尔多市长写了一封带有责备口吻的公开信,反映了该地区弥漫的焦虑情绪,并抗议了一些人认为是大胆无礼的做法:改变历史悠久的酒庄名字。
        “I’m not excessively curious to know about the life of these animals, never having encountered, during my childhood in Bordeaux, the slightest ‘imperial rabbit’ or ‘Tibetan antelope,’’’ Mr. Sollers wrote. “Is there no way to rededicate this wine to its legitimate source, affixed by the centuries?”        “我对这些动物的生活并不十分好奇,我在波尔多的整个童年时期从未见过‘御兔’或‘藏羚羊’,哪怕是最微小的迹象。”索莱尔斯写道。“难道没有办法让这些酒用其合法的来源,用几百年来都贴着的标签重新命名吗?”
        Loic Grassin, whose grandfather bought the magnificent white-stone mansion of the Château Senilhac in the Médoc in 1938, was not too keen on the name change either, after he recently sold to a Chinese buyer.        1938年,洛伊克·格拉辛(Loic Grassin)的祖父买下了梅多克地区塞尼哈克酒庄(Chateau Senilhac)宏伟的白石大宅。在最近卖给一位中国买家之后,他对于改名也不以为然。
        He had never even seen a “Tibetan Antelope,” as the estate was newly named.        他从未见过哪怕是一只“藏羚羊”,这是该酒庄的新名称。
        “Look, I took it very badly,” he said. “They debaptized it. It’s bizarre. Animals, I’ve got nothing against them. But, come on, ‘Tibetan Antelope’? Where are they coming from with that one?”        “这么说吧,我对此非常不满,”他说。“他们改了酒庄的名字。改成一个很怪的动物,我对它们没有任何反感。但是,得了吧,怎么是“藏羚羊”呢?他们起这个名字是怎么想的?”
        They are coming from a desire to draw an important link to China, which has become the destination for some 20 percent of the wine produced in Bordeaux. As much as 80 percent of the wine produced by the Chinese owners goes straight to China and is never seen in France.        他们想的是需要与中国建立重要的联系,波尔多生产的葡萄酒中,有20%左右销往中国。中国人拥有的酒庄生产的葡萄酒中高达80%直接销往中国,在法国根本看不到这些酒。
        ‘‘This is not about traditional Chinese culture,’’ said a leading French Sinologist, Jean-Philippe Béja of Sciences Po. ‘‘It is about marketing.”        “这与中国传统文化无关,”巴黎政治学院(Sciences-Po)的法国汉学家白夏(Jean- Philippe Béja)说。“这与营销有关。”
        But he disputed that the strategy was in fact a good one.        但他对这种策略实际上是否有好处表示怀疑。
        “This is imitating ‘Made in China,’ which doesn’t even have a good reputation,’’ he said. ‘‘The interest, for the Chinese, is to have something foreign that belongs to them.”        “这是在模仿‘中国制造’,这个标签其实并没有什么好名声,”他说。“对中国人来说,兴趣在于拥有一种属于他们的外国东西。”
        Perhaps for that reason the Chinese invasion has been limited to perhaps 3 percent of the roughly 6,000 chateaus in the Bordelais region. The Chinese also have not bought any of the most celebrated wine producers, opting instead for the middling and lesser-ranked.        也许正是因为这个原因,中国人的入侵只限于大约6000座酒庄中的3%。中国也没有收购任何最知名的葡萄酒生产商,而是选择了排名靠后的中低档葡萄酒品牌。
        The Chinese imprint on the style of the wine has been muted, too, in the view of local producers.        在本土酿酒商看来,中国人对葡萄酒风格的影响也不大。
        “I see no change in style,” said Mr. Amoreau, the winemaker. “Nobody is going to take the risk of changing this style, for a style that doesn’t really exist,” he said, referring to Chinese wines.        “我看不出风格有什么变化,”酿酒师阿莫乎说。“没有人会冒险去改变这种风格,改为一种并不存在风格,”他说,他指的是中国的葡萄酒。
        The Chinese owners, in fact, leave much of the actual winemaking in the hands of the French teams already in place.        实际上,中国的主人把大部分实际的酿酒工作留给了酒庄原有的法国团队。
        Julia Zhang, a rare Chinese owner who lives on the property, in the Sainte Foy district of Bordeaux, has chosen not to change the name of her Château des Chapelains. She couldn’t even recall the last name of her chief vintner, Claudine Rey, acknowledging her autonomy.        茱莉娅·张(Julia Zhang)是一位罕见的中国主人。她住在波尔多圣福瓦区的酒庄里,而且选择不改变她的酒庄沙普兰酒庄(Château des Chapelains)的名字。她甚至想不起来她的首席酿酒师克劳汀·雷伊(Claudine Rey)的姓,她承认克劳汀的自主权。
        “Claudine runs everything,” Ms. Zhang said.        “克劳汀管这里的所有事情,”张女士说。
        Ms. Zhang lives alone in her old stone farmhouse, isolated in the vineyards, her real estate-rich husband far away in China. She speaks almost no French or English and communicates with her staff through an associate.        张女士独自住在石头砌的古老农舍里,在葡萄园里过着与世隔绝的生活。她靠房地产发财的丈夫远在国内。她几乎不会说法语或英语,只能通过助手与员工交流。
        “It takes a lot of courage,” said Laurent Chu, a Franco-Chinese who works for Bordeaux’s chamber of agriculture and serves as liaison for many of the Chinese owners.        “这需要很大的勇气,”华裔法国人劳伦·朱(Laurent Chu)说,他在波尔多农业协会工作,为许多中国酒庄主当联络人。
        Is Ms. Zhang changing her small corner of France, or is France changing Ms. Zhang? The evidence suggests the latter. “I want to be like the French,” she said through Mr. Chu.        是张女士在改变她所在的那个法国小角落呢,还是法国在改变她?有证据表明是后者。“我想像法国人那样,”她通过朱先生说。
        ‘‘Some of these Chinese investors, they’ve kept their Chinese mentality,” she added.        “这些中国投资者中,有些人保持了他们的中国心态,”张女士补充说。
        Others agreed. The Chinese owners “want a return quickly, in two, three years,’’ said Mr. Hu of Clos des Quatre Vents. ‘‘If they don’t see results quickly, they say, ‘Hey, what’s going on?’”        其他人同意这种说法。中国酒庄主“希望在两三年内迅速得到回报”,四方庄园的胡楠说。“如果他们不能很快看到结果,他们会说,‘嘿,怎么回事儿?’”
        Chi Keung Tong, a Hong Kong businessman, and his mainland compatriots have bought some 150 properties in the last decade.        香港商人唐志强(Chi Keung Tong,音)以及来自大陆的中国人在过去10年里已购买了约150个酒庄。
        Among them is the ‘‘Imperial Rabbit,’’ actually Château Lapin Impérial, formerly the venerable Chateau Larteau, a property dating back to 1776, on a peaceful stretch of the Dordogne river 30 miles from Bordeaux.        这些酒庄包括“御兔”,法文名叫Chateau Lapin Impérial,以前是历史悠久的拉多酒庄(Chateau Larteau),建于1776年,位于多尔多涅河沿岸一段安静的土地上,距波尔多约50公里。
        He did not want to talk about the name change, and neither did the nervous French gatekeeper at the estate, before she shooed away unwelcome visitors.        他不想谈改名的问题。给酒庄看门的惶恐不安的法国人在赶走不受欢迎的客人之前也不想谈这个问题。
        “No, no, no, it’s not rabbits, it hares!” she insisted.        “不,不,不,不是兔,是野兔!”她坚持道。
        “We’ve got hares, we’ve got deers, we’ve got everything, but we don’t have any rabbits,” she said, before stating the obvious. “Things have changed around here.”        “我们有野兔,我们有鹿,我们什么都有,但我们没有兔,”她说。然后,她说了一句大实话:“这里的事情已经变了。”

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