China has a long history of winemaking, dating back over 2,000 years. However, modern winemaking only began in the 1980s and 1990s, when the government encouraged the development of the wine industry. The climate and terroir vary widely throughout China, with some regions experiencing hot and humid summers and others experiencing cold and dry winters.
What put China, or rather more specifically Ningxia, on the wine map globally was the "Ningxia vs Bordeaux Challenge" blind tasting held in 2011 in Beijing, where wines from Ningxia were pitted against wines from Bordeaux. The results were surprising, with the Chinese wines winning over the French wines in terms of quality and taste. This event was seen as a major turning point for the Chinese wine industry and helped to establish Ningxia as a serious contender in the global wine market.
Typical Grape Varietals: Due to the varied climate and terroir, a wide range of grape varietals are grown in China, including both international varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay, as well as local varietals like Beichun & Cabernet Gernischt.
Regional Wine Styles: Chinese winemakers are known for producing both still and sparkling wines, with a range of styles and flavors. Some of the most popular wines from China include red wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, as well as white wines made from Chardonnay and Riesling. Chinese wines are often described as bold and full-bodied, with flavors of dark fruit and earthy undertones. In recent years, Chinese sparkling wines have also gained popularity, with some winemakers using the traditional method of secondary fermentation in the bottle.
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