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Clean, green quality wines

By Zhang Zhao | China Daily | Updated: 2013-09-25 15:32

Clean, green quality wines

Delegates from China and abroad are ushered into the 2013 OIV Academic Conference. Photos Provided China Daily

International viticulture scholars, vine and wine experts all agree that the Ningxia Hui autonomous region has unlimited possibilities as a production region for top vintages. Zhang Zhao reports from the 2013 Academic Conference organized by the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV).

In the Ningxia Hui autonomous region, wine production is not just an emerging industry, but it is becoming a showcase to upgrade the economy of the entire region, say local government officials, scholars and experts gathered in Yinchuan for a conference on vines and wines.

The 2013 Academic Conference organized by the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) held on Sept 24, revolved around the theme "optimized viticulture and winemaking under stressed conditions on the eastern foothills of Helan Mountain".

In her opening address, OIV President Claudia Quini said the big emerging economies, such as Brazil, Russia, India and China, are "the new emerging reality of wine world".

According to statistics from the OIV, China is growing not only as a major wine market, but also as a production base. The total area of vineyards in China increased around 20 percent from 2008 to 2012 to reach 570 million hectares. The country is also among the top five producers of table grapes.

In an interview with China Daily, Quini said the Ningxia government "is on the right direction", and while she has witnessed progress in the region's wine industry, she suggested that local authorities "be patient", and "follow the steps in developing the industry".

She added that Ningxia should develop unique characteristics in its own wine.

This was echoed by Li Hua, vice-president of Northwest A&F University.

"When growing grapes in Ningxia, we must not directly copy the experience from other places in the world", said Li in his keynote speech at the conference.

He explained that most of the world's major wine production bases share the Mediterranean climate, featuring dry summers and warm and wet winters, but China has a totally different climate. The winter in Ningxia is "especially harsh" for grapes.

He suggested different growing methods be employed to cater to local natural conditions.

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