Wine has a long history in China. Sometimes over shadowed by rice wine, grape varietal wine has had incredible growth over the last few decades and continues to grow. Let’s take a closer look.
- China has a long history of wine – about 4,600 years of history to be “exact”. Archaeological evidence from 4,600 years ago shows wine production and consumption being present in China. Comparatively, rice wine in China has about a 3,000 year history.
- While it’s been around for centuries, wine production and consumption in China reemerged in the 1990s, largely due to a growing middle class and globalization.
- During the 1980s/1990s the Chinese population shifted towards wine and were willing to pay more for wine which is viewed as a luxury product there.
- The production of wine in China is the 4th largest in the world behind Italy, France, and the United States.
- In 2019, over 800 million liters of wine were produced.
- It’s the 2nd largest in the world in terms of vineyard area.
- China is the 5th largest consumer of wine in the world.
- The demand for wine in China continues to grow, so much so that they rely on about 40% of imports to keep up with their consumers.
- Most of the imports are new world from Australia, Italy and Chile, as an interesting note.
- 80% of wine consumed is red and 20% is white. This is largely to due to the cultural beliefs of the health benefits of drinking red wine. We also tell ourselves that the benefits of red wine warrant drinking it 80%of the time 😉
- Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Gernischt (aka Carménère), Merlot, and Marselan are the primary grapes in Chinese wine production.
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