If the Saint-Emilion – Pomerol – Fronsac wines and Pu’Er teas share many common points in the preparation and tasting, they are also the fruit of a very long history. Between mythological origins and cultural partnership, a focus on what unites the Pu’Er teas and Saint-Emilion – Pomerol – Fronsac wines.
WINE AND TEA, MYTHICAL DRINKS
An amusing detail and the proof of their cultural importance, wine and tea both have mythological origins. For wine, it is the ancient Greece side we need to look into: the growing of the vine and the invention of wine there, were credited to Dionysus. Incarnation of the vegetal force, the son of Zeus, half-man half-god, was the only one to drink pure wine. Mere men had to keep away from excess and mixed wine with water before drinking. In China, the legend attributes the discoverer of tea to be also half-man and half-god. With his transparent belly, Shen Nong had the power to measure the properties of plants. One day, while resting at the foot of a tree, some leaves fell into the water he had boiled. Shen Nong tasted the drink colored and flavored with tea and found it good. Tea was thus incorporated into the Chinese Pharmacopoeia and has always been associated with well-being, as well as pleasure.
PU’ER TEA AND SAINT-EMILION – POMEROL – FRONSAC WINE
If tea and wine share legendary origins, Pu’Er teas and Saint-Emilion – Pomerol – Fronsac wines are the fruit of millennia of history, this time real. Under Roman influence, during the antiquity, the first vines were planted around Saint-Emilion. After a period of obscurity, the vines enjoyed a revival in Saint-Emilion in the Middle Ages, under the impetus of the Benedictine monks. The year 1199 was a key for the reputation of these wines. Indeed, the English government created the Jurade de Saint-Emilion, which will go on to play a crucial part in the production and marketing of quality wines.
In China, the history of tea dates back to over 5000 years. It was the Chinese who managed to domesticate the tea plant, especially Camellia. Yunnan Province and Pu’Er City were at the heart of this original area of tea cultivation. From the 6th century, tea was compressed into patties and transported on horseback. A trade item with the nomads of western China, tea then reached Europe at the end of a long journey. Today, the Pu’Er tea is considered an exceptional drink, just like the Saint-Emilion – Pomerol – Fronsac wines.
WINES AND TEAS, CIVILIZATIONS
In the light of these stories, which gave rise to specific know-how, the Saint-Emilion-Pomerol-Fronsac wines and Pu’Er teas decided to start a very rich dialogue. In 2016, the tea museum in the city of Pu’Er opens a space dedicated to Saint-Emilion – Pomerol – Fronsac wines. Whether in Saint-Emilion – Pomerol – Fronsac or in Pu’Er, generation after generation, men and women have domesticated a plant, then got the best out of it. They got to know the most suitable soils and observe the intricacies of climatology. In 1999, UNESCO recognized the uniqueness of the Saint-Emilion Jurisdiction and its historic vineyard landscape. In Yunnan province, the testimonies of the history of Pu’Er tea are also honored. There, millennial tea plants, the oldest being more than 1000 years old, are carefully preserved.