Vicki Zhao has been a fan of Li Nanxing since her primary school days
Actress Vicki Zhao, a long-time fan of the local actor, is now his friend, colleague
When Chinese actress Vicki Zhao was in primary school, she was mesmerised by veteran local actor Li Nanxing after watching his 80s-era TV shows.
Today, the pair have known each other for 10 years, after being introduced by mutual friends.
And their friendship has turned into a working relationship after Li, 54, signed with Zhao's management agency .
He was also cast in a new Chinese web series, Everyone Wants To Meet You, that is produced by Zhao and will air in December.
Zhao, 43, told the local media in Mandarin: "A lot of viewers in China know of Nanxing ge (Chinese for older brother).
"But in the past 10 to 20 years, they never really got the chance to watch Singapore TV dramas or movies.
"So I thought casting him in the web series would be a good opportunity for them to see him on screen again. The entire crew treated him like an idol because he was so dedicated, polite and respectful of others."
During filming, Li fell in love with the red wine produced by Zhao's vineyards in France and suggested that she introduce it to the Singapore market.
In 2011, she bought over Chateau Monlot in Bordeaux's Saint-Emilion in the hope of propelling it to the ranks of top Bordeaux estates.
Its first wines under Zhao's vision was introduced to the China market in 2015 before making its way around Asia and the world.
An avid wine lover, Zhao - who purchased her fourth chateau in July - was in town on Tuesday to launch her Chateau Monlot Bordeaux wines at Grand Cru Wine Concierge at The Fullerton Hotel.
She said: "I started drinking alcohol when I was 25 or 26 years old. I decided to stick to wine after realising that not only is it beneficial for my skin, it is also healthier (than other alcoholic drinks) and not fattening (compared with other alcoholic beverages)."
Despite her focus on producing and managing her wine business, performing has not taken a back seat, as she sings the theme song and stars in the upcoming movie, Two Tigers.
While she hopes to include a wine scene in every production she is involved in and would love to invest in a wine-themed movie if the opportunity arises, the wine business is not her top priority now.
"The number of bottles sold is not really a prime concern," she said.
"I just want to share this hobby of mine with everyone, and I am contented that I can now buy and drink my own wine in Singapore."
On plans to expand her wine group, Zhao said: "Some chateaus are not for sale.
"I bought the recent one because it was an organic chateau, which is not common in France. I feel people are getting more health-conscious and thus more than happy to drink organic wine."