Cheung Ka Chai Medicinal Wine (張家濟酒廠)

York Lo: Cheung Ka Chai Medicinal Wine (張家濟酒廠)Cheung Ka Chai Medicinal Wine Image 1 York Lo

Left: Cheung Ka Chai ad in Singapore in 1947 (南洋商, 12 February 1947, Page 3); Right: Cheung Ka Chai’s Three Goats trademark filed in 1935 (HK Government Report)

Cheung Ka Chai is one of the firms not covered in the earlier article about the Chinese distilleries in HK and specialized in medicinal wines which featured ingredients such as ginseng, lychee, grapes and papaya but also had varieties which included more exotic ingredients such as snake, tiger and leopard.

The firm was founded in 1931 by Cheung Wing-khum (張詠琴), whose family according to the distillery’s advertisement in 1947 had been making wine in their village of Longshan in Shunde (part of the Foshan region where many of the Cantonese distilleries came from) for generations with a focus on medicinal wine.

According to his bio, Cheung Wing-khum learned how to make wine from his older cousin Fung Man-li for three years and came to HK at the age of 18. He started the Hang Lam Chong wine factory with his friends in the turn of the century (see Tale as old as Wine article) and left in a reorganization in 1911. With proceeds from Hang Lam Chong, he started three trading firms – Tung Hing Shing, Wing Yuen Export & Import Co and Kwong Fat Cheong in Selangor and Tin Yin Gourmet Powder factory. (A Century of Commerce, 1941)


Cheung Wing Kam (2)Cheung Ka Chai Medicinal Wine Image 2 York Lo Cheung Ka Chai Ad

Left: Cheung Ka Chai founder Cheung Wing-khum (A Century of Commerce, 1941); Center: Ad of Le Kiu Trading promoting Cheung Ka Chai wine in Canada in 1950 (Chinese Times. 1950-2-7) Right: Cheung Ka Chai ad in HK from the 1930s promoting its medicinal wine 

Under the leadership of Cheung Wing-khum, Cheung Ka Chai became a major distillery in Canton, HK and Macau. In 1935, it registered its “Three Goats” trademark in Hong Kong with the help of Lo & Lo and its address was listed as 164 Wing Lok Street in Sheung Wan.

By the 1930s and 1940s, Cheung Ka Chai and its “Three Goats” brand of medicinal wines was marketed not only in the Pearl River Delta but overseas in Southeast Asia via its affiliate Kwong Fat Cheung (廣發祥石叻庄) which specialized in trading with Singapore and in Canada through Le Kiu Trading founded by Gunn Louie (member of the Louie family which owns the London Drugs chain) in 1946. In 1963, its HK address was listed as 98 Connaught Road West in Sheung Wan and the firm also had a branch in Macau in Rua de Pedra under the name of Vinhos Chines Cheong Ka Chai.

Cheung Ka Chai Medicinal Wine Image 3 York Lo

Wedding notice of Dr. Patrick Cheung in 1958(華僑日報, 1958-01-15)

It is unclear when the firm went out of business but the last record of Cheung Ka Chai was in Macau directory in 1980.

Outside of work, Cheung Wing-khum was very philanthropic and served as vice president of the Chung Shing Benevolent Society. With his wife Leung Sau-ying, he had at least four sons and two daughters and one of his sons Dr. Patrick Cheung Pak-chue (張伯柱) was a 1956 medical graduate of HKU who became the head of the HK Central Hospital and ran a private practice for over half a century in Sheung Wan before his death in 2016. His son Dr. Andrew Cheung Man-tak (張文德) also went into the medical profession.

This article was first posted on 19th February 2018.

Related Indhhk articles:

  1. Tale as old as Wine: the Rise and Fall of Chinese Distilleries in Hong Kong
  2. Eternal Fortune and Fame – The 140 Year old Saga of Chinese Winemaker Wing Lee Wai (永利威)
  3. Wo Fat Hing Distillery, Lung Wo village
  4. Wo Fat Hing Distillery, Lung Wo village…Part Two – photos of the plant functioning
  5. Wo Fat Hing Distillery production of 玉冰燒酒 (Juk Bing Siu Zau) or 肉醪燒 (Juk Lou Siu)
  6. Beer in Hong Kong – Part One – the early days up to the planned opening of its first brewery
  7. Beer in Hong Kong – Part Two – The Imperial Brewing Company Ltd
  8. Beer in Hong Kong – Part Three – The Oriental Brewery 1908-1912
  9. Beer in Hong Kong – Part Four – The Hong Kong Brewers and Distillers Ltd 1930-1935
  10. Beer in Hong Kong – Part Five – the Hong Kong Brewery and Distillery Ltd 1936-1947
  11. Beer in Hong Kong – Part Six – the San Miguel Breweries at Sham Tseng and Yuen Long
  12. Beer in Hong Kong – Part Seven – Carlsberg brewery, Tai Po – opened 1981
  13. Hong Kong Brewers & Distillers – the opening of the Sham Tseng Brewery
  14. Hong Kong Brewers and Distillers – The Sham Tseng Brewery 1930-1935
  15. Lady Southorn’s hop shovel – Hongkong Brewers & Distillers 1934
  16. Oriental Brewery – “The beer that’s brewed to suit the climate”

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