Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Bordeaux 1855 Classification Chateaux Names with Chinese Translations

Bordeaux 1855 Classification 

Chateaux Names with Chinese Translations

I came to realize by browsing the Internet that, despite the list produced by "Christie's", revealed first and exclusively by "Decanter" on February 24th 2012 (read the article here), then officially unveiled shortly after during the "En Primeur" campaign, there is no other list including Bordeaux Chateaux names with Chinese translations in English written websites or French for that matter (as far as I could see).

 Christie's first-ever standardized Chinese translation of Bordeaux's classified growths
Picture courtesy of Christie's / Decenter

Yet, if you browse around through the Chinese websites, various listings of Bordeaux Chateaux names (and other notorious wineries from other regions) translated into Chinese are available online.

The problem is that, although the list produced by Christie's has been approved by most of the listed Classified Growths, Christie's list is "NOT" official Per Se..... and even nowadays, 5 years later, it still has not yet been fully embraced by all people of the trade in Asia (other Auction Houses, Wine Merchants, Brokers, Wholesalers, Importers, Distributors, etc...) as the official and/or "go-to" list for Chinese translated Chateaux names.

That is because, in Hong Kong for example, they have their own way to translate these names, as they primarily speak Cantonese (even if most also speak Mandarin/Putonghua). And in China, it is even worst, as they have various translations that also differ from Christie's list depending whether you are in Beijing, Tianjin, Guangzhou or Shenzhen for example.

However, although Christie's list could have been taken as "THE" reference list and embraced for what it has been created for, meaning a way for everybody to speak the same language and write these names the same way, the reality in China is far more complex regarding how people agree to translate them.

In any case, it seems that in China in general (including Hong Kong, Macau, Shanghai and Singapore) there is a consensus on at least 2 variants to translate these Chateaux names that are understood, recognized and used by most people in the trade. Variants that obviously and not surprisingly slightly differ from Christie's list.

Even my colleagues at work said that Christie's list is erroneous and that people in China may not necessarily fully understand or comprehend Christie's translations, and will write some of them quite differently.

No wonder why everybody's lost in translation if Bordeaux Chateaux names can be written in 3 different ways when translated into Chinese...  (sigh)

However, as I couldn't find a list including these 2 variants on English or French written websites, I decided to compile them into a list for the western world to have access to them (and to realise at the same time that Christie's list of translated Bordeaux Classified Growths is not entirely satisfactory or sufficient in the Chinese world).  

Here is my compilation of the "Bordeaux 1855 Classification with Chinese Translations" (including the 2 variants) as accepted, understood and used in China and the Chinese speaking Asian market in general.

FYI: To those of you who might not trust this list of Chinese names coming from a French-American "Gweilo" like me ("Gweilo or Gwailou" or "鬼佬" in Chinese literally means "Foreign Devil" - a historically common insult, with slightly racist nuances depending on the context, still used to designate the white Europeans / Caucasians in Hong Kong and China) and in order to add credibility to this list, (and as I work for a Hong Kongese / Chinese company run the Chinese way and employing 98% of Chinese people... yes, I'm one of the only very few "Gweilos" working for that company), I asked several of my co-workers (both Chinese and Hong Kongese) to confirm the meaning and writing of all the names in my list. And they all agree that both variants can be understood, used and written within mainland China and Hong Kong and that Chinese mainlanders are referring to those 2 variants as being the correct ones compared to those of Christie's list... (so if the Chinese say so, who am I to say the opposite.. 😉)

NB: Owners of the Chateaux included in the list below, do not be offended or alarmed (as I know you can be quite susceptible when it comes to the order of the name of your Chateau within the "1855 Classification" list...), I just sorted the list by alphabetical order within each rank (1st Growth, 2nd Growth, etc..) to make it easier to read.

Bordeaux 1855 Classification with Chinese Translations (compiled by LeDomduVin)

Bordeaux 1855 Classification with Chinese Translation
sorted by alphabetical order - Compiled by LeDomduVin 2017

And as a picture will not help for you to be able to "Cut and Paste" these translated names for customs documents for example or other uses, I put this "Bordeaux 1855 Classification with Chinese Translation sorted by alphabetical order - Compiled by LeDomduVin 2017" list

I hope it will help some of you. You never know, this list might come handy at some point. I know that I was looking for one available online and could not find any despite Christie's list (which, as stated above, is not necessarily correct, accepted or even embraced by the trade... hence the reason for this post..) and I'm sure that I'm not the only one.... I hope to believe that the people working in the trade like the Chateaux themselves, but also the importers, distributors, merchants and more especially the people doing logistics, freights and shipping who usually have to deal with Chinese Customs will find it useful somewhat.

In fact, I think that by combining Christie's List and my compilation list, people will surely find a translated Chateaux name that they will be able to use depending on the context and the purpose.

And frankly, since the changing tastes of the burgeoning Chinese middle class and the surge of Chinese investing in and drinking more and more French wines since 2010, this list might definitely come handy.

In 2014, China surpassed France as the biggest consumer of red wine. And according to International Wine & Spirit Research, it will become the second biggest consumer of wine in the world by 2020, drinking 6.1bn litres, worth $21.7 bn, which is up 39.8% from 2016. (Source The Daily Telegraph / IWSR)

That's a lot of wine names to be translated into Chinese....


That's all folks for today!


And stay tuned for most posts...

and a big "THANK YOU" to all the readers, as your number has tremendously increased since I restarted writing on my blog a few months ago after nearly 5 years of quasi no posts or activities on this page. I really appreciate it and it inspires me to write more. Thank you.

LeDomduVin a.k.a Dominique Noël


  1. A good post with full of information. I enjoyed reading the post. Please pour in such more information. Keep the place neat and clean

    1. Thank you "best essay writers"

      Glad you enjoyed reading the post and hope it will help you in some ways.

      LeDomduVin a.k.a Dominique Noel

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    1. Maybe, but not 1 website will give all the translations I gather in this post at one glance like on my table... you will have to search them one by one and you find it difficult to know which one is actually correct, while on my table above, these translations are the mostly accepted and used translations in Hong Kong and China for these wines.

  3. It is very helpful in giving me that information

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