AM774 . Bruce in Beijing

Growing wine production and consumption in China but still below more traditional drinks

2014-05-20 15:37:36

375ml bottles Enoteca Wine Shop Beijing

Dornier South African wine at Pinotage

Dragon Seal Wine

Temple Restaurant Beijing (TRB)

Veloce Wine Bar 1949 Hidden City Beijing

Wine tasting at New Zealand Embassy Beijing

China wine expert Jim Boyce starts today talking about the importation of European and other producing countries’ wine and how this has changed the Chinese wine drinking scene in recent years. Some is added to local domestic wine, some sold as foreign brands.

Wine production is growing rapidly in China with areas such as Xinjiang having some of the largest vineyards in Asia. That region has vast amounts of under-used land and a relatively low population density. Growing grapes is an ideal way of using some of the land. Ningxia also is a real success story– the region, formerly mostly desert, now produces some of the country’s finest wine grapes. The wine industry has brought a lot of prosperity to Ningxia where its development has received considerable positive support. Many international wine experts and writers visit Ningxia annually. The Region also produces wolfberries which it uses to make a particularly special wine. Jacky Chan has been hired recently as a spokesperson for this unique vintage.

Jim talks of the importance of other drinks in China with a far larger market than wine. The country remains the world’s largest beer drinking nation and its consumption of the fiery spirit drink, ‘Baijiu’ is way above wine. Indeed, there still only a few wine bars in cities such as Beijing, compared to Shanghai, but the market is expected to grow.