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Chinese winemakers experience surge in home demand

Chinese winemakers experience surge in home demand.jpg

China moves into second place in chart of growers, behind Spain but ahead of France.


China now boasts more land dedicated to winemaking vineyards than France as it tries to satisfy a rapid rise in local demand.


China’s vineyards grew to 800,000 hectares (1.9m acres) last year, putting it behind the top grower Spain but ahead of France.


Because its production is less effective than more established wine-making countries, China’s output is only the seventh-biggest, according to figures released on Monday by the Paris-based International Organization of Vine and Wine.


France took over the title of top producer from Italy last year, with 46.7m hectolitres, or 6.2bn bottles. EU countries have intentionally reduced vineyards in recent years to make them more efficient and improve quality.


By contrast, China’s harvest is expected to yield 11.2m hectolitres. The bulk of that is destined for consumers in China, whose 1.4bn people knocked back 15.8m hectolitres (2.1bn bottles) of wine last year.


The taste for wine has grown rapidly in China over the past 15 years, more than local production can keep up with. Added to the status carried by foreign wines, China has become the world’s sixth-largest wine importer, on a par with Russia.


According to London-based wine and spirits research firm IWSR, China is the world’s fourth-largest consumer of red wine and the fifth-largest consumer overall.



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