Saturday, August 25, 2007

Wine in China

Curiously enough, I read a forum post over on Catavino giving a review of a wine from China and then came upon a lengthy article, in Wine, discussing the current state of the wine industry in China. This is a very interesting article.

An International Conference on the Wine Market in China was held August 8-11, in Beijing. There are now 500 wineries in China, though only 17% of their wine is exported. There is even a map showing the five largest wine producing areas in China. The Chinese government is wine friendly and has encouraged people to drink more wine for its reputed health benefits. Wine sales in China have grown by more than 68% from 2001 to 2006.

There is a significant problem though as there is a lack of regulations regarding wine production. For example, wine producers may not place the correct vintage on their bottles. They might instead place a vintage date considered lucky, especially using the number 8 which is considered very lucky. As another example, they might sometimes use grapes from other countries in their wines. Though the bottle won't mention that fact. China also does not yet have an appellation system.

China does have many native grape varietals, though not all have been translated into English.

The article also gives tasting notes of seven Chinese wines which were considered especially good. So, check out the full article.

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