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A Lafite From China? This $300 Wine Is the Real Thing

But when asked if he would be drinking the Long Dai wine, Huang Chuanjun, 70, a regular beer drinker, shook his head.

“It’s more expensive than gold!” said Mr. Huang, who was carrying a jug of soy sauce. “I wouldn’t even spend 100 renminbi on it. I can’t tell the difference anyway.”

The 2017 wine is the culmination of a project that began 10 years ago, when the Lafite brand was at the peak of its popularity in China. “Lafite” has been used in the names of Chinese apartment complexes and even barbecue restaurants, said Jim Boyce, founder of Grape Wall of China, an English-language blog about Chinese wine.

“It’s attached to the idea of the quality of a lifestyle,” Mr. Boyce said.

But a number of high-end Chinese wines have emerged in the last decade, including Legacy Peak in Ningxia and Ao Yun, made from grapes grown in the Tibetan foothills and owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s largest luxury group.

“The timing feels weird to me,” Mr. Boyce said of the Long Dai launch. “It feels like part of a trend that’s already had its moment.”

For Lafite, though, the estate in Shandong also offers a foothold into China’s growing market for pricey wines. It features a visitor center and a so-called classroom for wine education, a first for a Lafite estate and a way to promote sales of the company’s other wines and overcome competition from Chinese competitors.

References to the Rothschild family, which has owned Lafite for more than 150 years, appear throughout. A video of Ms. Rothschild in conversation with her father, Baron Éric de Rothschild, plays in the visitor center. Paintings by her mother, the artist Maria-Beatrice Caracciolo Di Forino, and copies of oil portraits of 19th-century Rothschilds adorn the walls of the buildings.

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