Liuzhuanghu, Wine Village
Located in northeast Shunyi District, Liuzhuanghu is a quiet, peaceful village where one can discover charm, colourful activities and a country lifestyle.
Located in northeast Shunyi District, Liuzhuanghu is quiet, peaceful village where one can discover its charm, and enjoy colourful activities and a pastoral life. Tree shade, wide and neat streets, and alleys and residences are dotted with flowers. Villagers are friendly and hospitable, and warmly invite tourists to visit their courtyards. This is a traditional yet modern village, where a cultural street based on traditional Chinese architectural style echoes across the meadows of a European wine chateau.
According to historical records, Liuzhuanghu village was first formed in the late Ming (1368–1368) and early Qing (1644–1911) dynasties. The village was initially called Yujiaxincun Village. In the Qing Dynasty, a family by the name of Yu fled from famine in Shandong Province to the village to work as tenant peasants. After the third generation descendant of the family became a musician of the imperial court, he bought many plots of land and started a large family. The village's name was changed to Liuzhuanghu in the midQing Dynasty.
The ancient Liuzhuanghu has become a quaint village with a slow pace of life in Beijing's eastern suburb. Oufeibao International Wine Chateau with a simple and exotic style stands at the entrance of the village, making visitors to feel as if they were in a European town. The chateau provides custom services for those who want to print their favourite patterns and designs on wine bottles or learn to make wine with the help of technicians.
Vegetable and fruit picking is the preferred outdoor activity. On the opposite
side of the chateau is a four-hectare vineyard with more than 10 varieties of grapes, offering picking activities. Here, one can also enjoy special red wine and dishes of the chateau or overlook the village from the third floor of the chateau. The fresh air welcomes urbanites seeking a country lifestyle.
Nearby the chateau is an organic vegetable farm established by a female doctor who graduated from Tsinghua University. Many seasonal vegetables such as tomatoes, sweet potatoes and pumpkins are grown with manure inside and outside of more than 20 greenhouses. Here, one can pick vegetables or register for a membership to enjoy door-todoor delivery service. Primary and secondary schools chose the farm to organise afterschool programmes, where children can learn about farming.
The village's street park is the ideal place for kids. Farm animals gather by a fountain, such as tall sika deer with rabbits. The male sika deer keep their eyes open at any outsiders who approach them and baby deer will hide behind them and observe. While rabbits scamper around looking for food, turkeys and pheasants compete for food, while ducks waddle around, and pigeons and peacocks walk about.
Walking along a cobblestone trail, you can arrive at Yongcheng Ecotourism and Angling Park, where an aquatic environment lure in anglers to fish. The park has held a range of angling competitions such as the finals of the 2nd China “Pit Crown” Leisure Angling Tournament, and 2016 “Red EyesPeacock Feathers” Angling Challenge.
After enjoying the sights and leisure activities, souvenirs in the village are worth a look at and buying. Located in the north village, Jixiang Babao Gourd Work Studio specialises in gourds artefacts. In Chinese language, hulu (gourd) has a similar pronunciation to fulu (“happiness and wealth”), giving the impression to Chinese who consider the gourd as a lucky vegetable bringing good fortune.
Originated from the Han Dynasty (202 BC–AD 220), gourd pyrography has flourished again by Niu Chengguo, a fourth inheritor of Niu's gourd pyrography based on his innovative combination of traditional Chinese culture with painting. His technique has been listed in the list of China Intangible Cultural Heritage and become a popular collection among domestic celebrities and international art circles.
Thanks to unique Niu's technique, natural gourds are transformed into exquisite works of art with variety of decorations including landscapes, flowers, birds, lions, human portraits, Chinese zodiac and auspicious patterns, showcasing profound traditional Chinese culture and art.
A range of creative ideas and techniques transformed gourds into a variety of artwares. Techniques include using a mould to cover a growing gourd to shape it according to the designs, and using a rough rope, wire or other tools to make patterns on the gourd's surface. Thus, an artistic design can be made on the gourd before it is fully grown.
Unique gourd artefacts are on display at Niu's studio. Some are transformed into tobacco pipes, tea canisters, incense burners and tea pots; some are decorated by using intaglio, relief and hollowed-out techniques; and some are painted with bright colours. With the help of an artisan, one can draw pictures or carve characters on a gourd.
If they feel tired after visiting the village, visitors can take a stroll in one of the farmers' courtyards to try to taste farmer's dishes or chat with them about the changes of their lives. In front of one of courtyards are persimmon trees and a breeze spreads a wine aroma from the chateau.
A 1,200-square-metre museum of the village's history and a viewing platform for 1,000 people are under construction, which will become a venue for watching song and dance shows and dramas. A 600-square-metre dining hall near the viewing platform has been included in the village's development plan.
Other facilities include a parking lot, a zoo as well as more than 20 farmers' courtyards under renovation. According to Liu Xiancang, secretary of the village's committee of the Communist Party of China, these projects are a first step in developing Liuzhuanghu into a leisure tourism village.
After completion of its infrastructure, the village will set up cooperatives to integrate its tourism resources. Liu said, “Five years later, our village will become a Liuzhuanghu Scenic Area. He added, “We still rely on the government's investment but in the near future, our village will become more self-reliant. A flourishing Liuzhuanghu with its tourism resources create a memorable experience for all our guests.”