China: Geography and climate

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Most of China’s 665,610 ha/1.7 million acres of vineyards (in 2012) are spread across provinces north of the Yangtze River, from the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region in the extreme north west (where 21.5% of vines are planted) to the coastal regions of Hebei (11.4%) and Shandong (5.6%). Shanxi and Liaoning grow 5.3% of China’s vines each, Henan grows 4.5%, Ningxia 4.4%, and Yunnan in south western China 4.1%. Owing to the general lack of exposure to Western wine culture and extreme continental conditions inland, production in all regions has been concentrated on table grapes and drying grapes . China’s 980 ‘alcohol manufacturing factories’ (the literal translation of the word for winery) vinify only about one-sixth of the total grape harvest (an estimated 10,543,154 tons of grapes for wine in 2012).