08 August 2019, The Tablet

Chinese wine’s eastern promise

From the Vineyard

Chinese wine’s eastern promise

Despite President Trump’s punitive trade tariffs, China is still the largest exporter of goods on the planet. Astonishingly, one in every three pairs of socks, for instance, has been made in the district of Datang, known as “Sock City”, in Zhejiang province, bordering Shanghai on China’s eastern coast.

Much less well known, China is also the sixth-largest producer and consumer of wine and the largest market for red wine, consumption of which has grown by 136 per cent over the past 10 years, alongside an 18 per cent decline in France. It has the second-largest expanse of vineyards in the world, covering more than 850,000 hectares, three times as much as Australia. Only Spain, with almost 1,000.000 hectares, has more.

Chinese wines in a variety of styles have won seven gold medals this year alone in the Decanter World Wine Awards, the world’s largest wine competition; and Hong Kong has become the world’s largest market for fine wines at auction, surpassing New York and London.

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