left corner left corner
China Daily Website

The grape and the good

Updated: 2014-06-30 07:19
By He Dan (China Daily)


The grape and the good

Norbert Gorres talked to locals about grape growing skills at the vineyard at Shanting district, Zaozhuang city in Shandong province. Provided to China Daily

His grandfather became involved, after the Zaozhuang city government requested a foreign expert be found willing to develop a local winemaking industry from scratch. The State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, China's top governmental agency for overseas headhunting, invited Gorres to help.

Gorres, a member of the Senior Experten Service, a nonprofit organization in Germany that offers retired experts opportunities to pass on their skills and knowledge to those in need both at home and abroad, used to visit Shandong province twice a year between 2000 to 2009 with his assistant Hans Beu, and they would share their grape cultivation and grafting knowledge with the local farmers.

On his first trip to Zaozhuang, Gorres packed more than 10,000 European fruit seedlings including 70-plus varieties of grape, which resulted in a fine of about 30,000 yuan ($4,786) for overweight luggage, recalls Ning Yanmin, a translator who worked with Gorres and who is now working with Linden in China.

"I have never met someone as selfless and noble as Norbert," says Ning, adding the expert was always trying to bring advanced equipment, tools and seedlings as gifts for the local farmers, as many as possible regardless of the cost and the weight of his luggage.

"He told me that he knew there are tens of millions of migrant workers that have to leave their hometown and their families to make more money in the cities; he wanted to teach the farmers to grow grapes and make wine so that they could make a living, enjoy life and protect the environment at the same time," she says.

Related Stories

Man with a mission 2014-06-22 12:10
Music without borders 2014-06-22 11:53
Young violinist takes a bow on international stage 2014-06-22 11:13
Yumen Pass protector serves with pride 2014-06-20 09:59
Preserving Dulong River valleys 2014-06-13 10:00
Woven through culture 2014-06-17 08:01