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The grape and the good

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

The grape and the good

Hans Beu, Norbert Gorres' assistant was teaching local farmers how to make frames for the climbing vines. Provided to China Daily

Yu Tingbo, 70, chief director of grape cultivation at the Nobert-Hans Vineyard, learned the skills of grape growing from the two German experts. He was impressed by that fact that they were very strict and precise in every step of the growing process and "treated the grapes as their own children".

"They were patient in answering all questions that farmers raised, even though some were very slow to digest new knowledge, and they worked around the clock on the farmland with the local farmers and ate the same food as the locals did with no complaint, even though Hans had cancer," Yu says.

As the local farmers had never grown grapes for wine-making before the arrival of the Gorres and Beu, it was a difficult task persuading them to change their way of doing things to guarantee the quality of the rest.

"Norbert explained the idea behind it with plain language, he said it takes 10 years of good care before a grape seedling can produce good grapes, just like you cannot force a woman to have babies all the time, otherwise it will destroy the mother's health and dilute the limited resources available to raise the children," Yu says.

Wang Yunxiang, general manager of the Hanro Winery Co. Ltd that runs the vineyard, said farmers who were hired by the company to grow grapes for wine can get a net income that is double what they would get from growing other crops.

"The German experts' help have brought prosperity to our company and farmers," Wang says.

Beu's health deteriorated in 2007, but before he died, he asked Gorres to bring his last donation of 2,000 yuan to two poor students in Zaozhuang, whose schooling he had been supporting.


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