As early as 2008, England’s oldest independent wine merchant Berry Brothers & Rudd noted that China’s favorable soil and soaring domestic demand gave it “all the essential ingredients to make fine wine to rival the best of Bordeaux.
Unbeknownst to many, China’s winemaking has ancient origins that trace back thousands of years. The Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD) imported its first grape, the Vitis Vinifera, from Central Asia and helped spread the beverage across the country via the Silk Road. But it wasn’t until the Tang Dynasty (618 AD – 907 AD) when wine-drinking really took off and became interlaced with culture, language, and the arts.
Today, modern winemaking has established a strong foothold in the arid, central-northern autonomous region of Ningxia, nicknamed ‘China’s Napa Valley.’ The eastern foothills of the Helan Mountains offer the most suitable climate and growing environment for wine cultivation, with protection against harsh winds from the Tengger Desert and ample irrigation from the Yellow River. Since 2008, Ningxia’s wine scene has not only steadily grown in size – with over 58,000 acres of vineyards, larger than that of Napa Valley – but also in reputation, as China’s wine capital.
Read more about how wineries are transforming the dusty landscape of Ningxia here and read on to join us virtually in Ningxia later this month.
A Taste of China: Ningxia
Ep. 2: Fine Wine, Hand-Grabbed Mutton, and the Flavors of Ningxia
October 21, 2020 | 9am China
Join us virtually in Ningxia, a windswept land of deserts in China’s northwest, where cumin-spiced Hui-minority cuisine reigns supreme, and local entrepreneurs are driving China’s booming wine industry. Follow our guide live as we visit one of the region’s top female-owned wineries, imagine the flavors of Ningxia’s hand-grasped mutton, and learn about China’s wine renaissance with author and expert, Janet Z. Wang.
For this special event, we are excited to partner with the China Institute – a leading organization founded in 1926 that advances a deeper understanding of China through programs in education, culture, art, and business.