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Chinese Wine
Rebirth of an Ancient Tradition


Ritual wine beaker (ku),
from the Shang Dynasty


Wine making is a skill that seems to grow in the vinyards of France. Other countries also make wines, but the heavyweights for decades have been Champagnes and Bordeaux with a few other wines from Western European countries filling in the gaps.

The newer wine growing regions in the USA, Canada and Australia have settled into contention for some of the prizes at exhibitions. Even South America and Africa are beginning to make a mark.

But China? Is there even such a thing as Chinese wine?

The answer may surprise you. China began turning grapes into wine during the Shang Dynasty. That was from the 16th century B.C. to the 11th century B.C.— long before Europeans were master vintners.

In modern China the secrets lost centuries ago are being unlocked again.

Since 1994 China has put an emphasis on developing its wine market. By the end of 1995, there were over 240 wineries in China. Today, China (including Hong Kong) is among the top ten global markets for wine consumption and, after a few years' of importing vines and setting up modern wineries, China can finally claim a number of recognized labels, such as Changyu, Dynasty, and Great Wall.

High quality Chinese wines made to match international standards for premium wines are finding greater acceptance. Labels such as Huadong’s Chardonnay and Huaxia Dry Red, Changyu’s Cabernet, and Beijing’s Dragon Seal are a few examples of wines locally made wines catching on.

dynasty vineyards, china
A modern view of Dynasty vineyards located in Jixian in Tianjin, China

While beer is still much cheaper and more popular in most areas of China, the demand for wine is growing. In Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing, Chengdu and other more developed cities wine is becoming the fashionable drink. Luxury hotels, bars and casinos serve imported wines and are beginning to add domestic brands to their wine lists.

Over the past few years, the French and Australian wine industries have been exporting wine and even providing grape juice to make wine while the Chinese wine industry got on its feet. Now, with more land devoted to growing grapes and with skilled wine masters on hand, it won't be long before China is once again a center for quality wines.

Chiff.com Travel Directory Staff


also see in Travel -> China | Beijing Tourist Attractions


More about Chinese wine around the Web:

Wine in China- Wikipedia

Culture and History of Chinese wine


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