China has now overtaken France to be the world’s second largest wine grower after Spain.
As reported by the BBC, The International Organisation of Vine and Wine (IOV) stated that China now has 799,000 hectares (ha) of land given to wine growing, placing it second after Spain which has just over 1m ha.
“China wants to be self-sufficient in all sectors, this one included,” said IOVW director general Jean-Marie Aurand as reported in the Straits Times.
China faces an increasing demand for wine and cultivates mainly imported grapes from all over the world, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Chardonnay that are grown in the dry Ningxia, Sichuan and Hebei Provinces. It devoted 11 percent of its territory to vineyards last year, compared to 4 percent in 2000.
France is still in the lead globally in terms of wine production at 46.7 million hectolitres (mhl) whereas China is in eighth place with 11 mhl. Spain and Italy also tipped over 40mhl each last year.
However, since vines take between four and five years to produce and planting surged about two to three years ago, we could easily see China’s output jump in just a few years’ time, Aurand added.