The Hakka Affairs Council (HAC) held a
book launch for “Mase23.9°N:
Hakka Wineries on Yuan-cheng Farm (Mase23.9°N源成七界內客家酒莊)” at Jin Yu Hu Wine Factory
(金玉湖酒莊) in Erlin Township (二林鄉)
of Changhua County on Sept. 18.
The book records the stories of eight local wineries run by members of the Hakka community, whose ancestors mostly migrated from Hakka settlements in Taoyuan, Hsinchu, and Miaoli to Changhua’s Yuan-cheng Farm during the era of Japanese rule (1895-1945).
Located at what is now the tri-border
area bounded by the townships of Erlin, Zhutang (竹塘),
and Pitou (埤頭) in Changhua, the Yuan-cheng Farm was
originally a massive land purchased by a Japanese company for agricultural
development in 1909. A number of Hakka farmers from northern Taiwan were
recruited and relocated to the undeveloped land.
At the book launch, HAC Minister Yiong
Con-ziin said that, overcoming adversities, these Hakka settlers and their
offspring turned the sterile land into fertile fields and grew juicy grapes for
the Taiwan Tobacco and Wine Monopoly Bureau (菸酒公賣局)
under a contract farming agreement. Though impacted by imports of foreign
fruits due to Taiwan’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2002,
these vineyard owners decided to establish their wine factories and build their
wine brands after the contract with the bureau was terminated, Yiong said.
The minister hoped that, through this book, more people will know that Erlin has such fine wineries, beautiful scenery, and high-quality wine. He said that HAC will promote winery tours of Erlin at Kaohsiung International Travel Fair at the end of the year, hoping to draw visitors to travel in this fantastic Hakka village.