China: Viticulture

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Viticulture in long-standing wine regions vineyard development and grape supply were major problems for the wine industry. Traditionally grapes were supplied on contract through collective agencies and grown on intensively subdivided lands. Individual farmers may work less than an acre each and are entitled to choose their own crop, often preferring the less viticulturally risky table grapes. China’s parallel systems of planned and market-driven economy and deep-rooted peasant traditions clearly hindered modernization. The traditional fan trellis system, dense foliage, excessive yields, heavy summer irrigation, peanut cover crops, early picking to avoid rot, and grape prices determined by weight alone are typical. Many vineyards planted in low-lying valleys alongside rice fields have high water-tables and a high risk of flooding.