Ningxia raises a glass to business success

By QU YINGPU,ZHU BAOXIA and LIU ZHIHUA in Yinchuan | China Daily | Updated: 2022-09-05 07:36
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Workers carry harvested grapes at a vineyard in Yongning county, Ningxia Hui autonomous region, in October 2019. [Photo/China Daily]

Region's wine industry among those turning adverse conditions into advantage

In 2017, despite receiving poor reviews from a top French wine expert on a new single varietal it had started to make, a newly established winery in the Ningxia Hui autonomous region decided to place the product in barrels for aging.

The wine was made from Cabernet Gernischt, a grape commonly found in China, but at the time the grape was not considered good enough for making quality wine.

However, after being aged for a year, the single varietal exhibited an amazing floral complexity with a distinctive aroma of herbal medicine, astonishing and charming the French expert.

Zhang Yanzhi, owner of the winery, said, "We found this grape variety in our old vineyard, and it had adapted extremely well to the terroir of the Helan Mountain region.

"The discovery was like cleaning a pearl covered in dust to see it shine," he said, adding that the wine, which is highly popular with consumers, has since won numerous accolades in China and overseas.

Hard work and innovation have helped transform Ningxia from a barren and arid area in the eastern foothills of the Helan Mountain into the rising star of new-wine regions.

About two hours from Beijing by plane, Ningxia is known for desolate deserts and ancient tomb sites, but it is also rich in green and beautiful scenery.

In recent years, the region has focused on developing the grape and wine industry, among others, to make full use of its distinctive geographic and climatic conditions.

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