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Ningxia wines look to make splash in US


04-11-2017 17:15 BJT

(Source: CGTN)

Chinese wines are becoming big sellers in the U.S. -- to the tune of about $700 million American dollars last year. That's thanks to wines produced on nearly 60,000 acres of vineyards in northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. A delegation from Ningxia recently travelled to the US as it aims to improve on those sales this year.

Two bottles of red, a bottle of white and one sparkling isn't a scene from an Italian restaurant but it could put US customers in the mood to buy some Chinese wines for the first time.

The wines — a Chandon Brut, riesling, syrah organic red, cabernet sauvignon and merlot — come from Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, known as China's wine country and about one thousand kilometers from Beijing. The remote region has China's third-smallest GDP but has developed its emerging wine sector in recent years.

"Ningxia is one of the most suitable places for growing grapes and producing wine. If there are Chinese wines that win awards at wine-tasting competitions, those wines must have been produced in Ningxia," said Li Jianhua, party secretary-general of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.

The French multinational luxury goods company Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy invested 28 million U.S. dollars with a Chinese company to create the Chandon state-of-the-art winery in Yongning county in Ningxia. The French company is betting that the Chinese market will support major growth in the wine sector, which is worth about 22.3 billion U.S. dollars. That's according to Euromonitor International. China has more land for vineyards than France.

Edward Korry, former president of the Society of Wine Educators, said that he was impressed with the level of quality that was achieved by wineries in Ningxia in a short period of time.

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