Ningxia: Through the Vineyards

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4 Days
Spring, Summer, Fall,
Yinchuan
Yinchuan
Min Age : 21+
About this Journey

The small Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region deserves more attention. Once a region many wars were fought over, then home to Muslim travelers from the Silk Road, it now offers a diversity almost unmatched by any other region. Here, the old meets the new, the East meets the West, and lush wetlands along the Yellow River meet the vast Gobi Desert.

We embark on a journey to the capital Yinchuan, to explore the exciting wine industry that has blossomed in Ningxia. The first winery in Ningxia opened in 1985, but its dry climate, high-altitudes and substantial irrigation from the Yellow River quickly turned it into one of the foremost wine producing areas in China.

Your WildChina Expert

Kiki Chen

After studying and living in four different countries, Kiki returned to her home province of Ningxia to fall right into the welcoming arms of the burgeoning wine industry. She began as a translator for the wineries,

 guiding high-level foreign dignitaries, introducing the vineyard grounds and explaining the wine-making process. After a while, Kiki found she had developed an expert knowledge on Ningxia’s wines, and in turn, started her own company, NingxiaWine.com to help visitors travel to and learn about the many vineyards of Ningxia. Kiki holds a masters degree in Comparative Local Development and is now pairing this with her ongoing WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) studies to contribute to Ningxia’s newest economical development source in a sustainable way. Outside of wine, Kiki has a passion for education, and for the last eight years has been organizing a non-profit summer camp for local children with ten volunteers from ten different countries. She is also an avid language learner, speaking fluent Spanish, English and Mandarin, as well as a passionate traveler, with over 40 countries ticked off her world-wide list thus far.

What we love
  • Exploring a varied selection of wineries and meeting the people behind Ningxia’s viticultural reinvention
  • Spending a night at the impressive Xige Estate, home to the largest winery in the region
  • Discovering authentic regional cuisine, including a barbecue at Silver Heights Vineyard and a five-course wine dinner
  • Gaining an in-depth understanding of the region’s history on a visit to the Western Xia Imperial Tombs
Map
Itinerary

Day 1Arrive in Yinchuan

First Stop: Yinchuan

Yinchuan, meaning “silver river”, is the capital city of Ningxia. The Yellow River running through the center of the city and the Helan mountains to the West provide a much needed respite from the arid climate which creeps over from the nearby Gobi Desert. This unique combination also make Yinchuan’s surrounding countryside a perfect spot for vineyards – grape vines wind up rows of trellises extending endlessly into the backdrop of the Helan mountains in the distance. In the city itself, you’ll find a modern Chinese city at work with students and locals buzzing amidst towering mosques, ancient pagodas, and towering skyscrapers alike.

Arrive: Yinchuan

Arrive at the airport arrivals hall where you’ll meet your local WildChina guide who will take you to the private vehicle that is waiting on standby to whisk you away to your hotel. 

Day 2Yinchuan

Western Xia Imperial Tombs

The Western Xia Imperial Tombs, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, include 9 mausoleums and 250 tombs from the Western Xia dynasty (1038-1227), which was founded by the Tangut ethnic group. Today, of the numerous towering earth mounds that make up this site, only a fraction have been fully excavated, leaving mountains of mystery yet to be unearthed.

Wine Tasting at Kanaan Winery

Enjoy a private wine tasting at the Kanaan Winery, with the owner Wang Fang if available, known locally as “Crazy Fang” for her daring ventures in winemaking. Wang Fang has always seen wine as her destiny, and her winery’s numerous awards seem to agree. At one point, producing a Riesling in Ningxia was widely considered impossible, until Wang Fang made it a reality, listing it as “full-bodied and refreshing with juicy lemon flavors, floral notes of white flowers and a hint of petrol” this is a one-of-a-kind wine you’ll definitely want to try.

Wine Tasting & Dinner With Founder of Silver Heights Winery

Silver Heights is a family-owned winery with female founder Emma Gao standing at the helm. Silver Heights focuses on embracing organic farming and has followed the ancient Chinese principles of Jieqi. Emma started the conversion to biodynamic practices and minimal intervention in winemaking; allowing her wines to better express the purity of her terroir and the passion of her family. Enjoy a glass of wine and a local barbeque dinner with Emma as she tells you more about her organic wine-making practices and family story.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 3Yinchuan

Chateau Yuanshi Winery

Spend the morning at Chateau Yuanshi Winery, a recipient of the Decanter Asia Wine Awards, for a tasting and a tour of the vineyard and the winery, which was designed after the region’s Chinese old fortresses.

Wine Tasting at Domaine Pushang

Run by a husband and wife team, Domaine Pushang is renowned for their Marselan grape wine, which is becoming one of Ningxia’s leading varietals. Despite its small size, Pushang is considered a “fourth growth” vineyard by the Ningxia wine bureau.

Qingtongxia Yellow River Canyon

The Yellow River Grand Canyon is shaped by the wide stream of the Yellow River flanked on either side by limestone and sand-shale mountains. Experience the influence of modern China at the soviet-style hydropower dam, before carrying on to an ode to traditional China, a 108-pagoda temple built in to the side of one of the mountainous riverbanks.

Boat Ride on the Yellow River

Get an up-close view of the Yellow River and surrounding canyon walls as you embark on a boat ride on the river. Enjoy the scenery and the cool waters below as your guide talks about the geographic history that formed this stunning landscape.

Wine Tasting & Dinner at Xige Estate

Settle in for the evening at the dramatic Xige Estate, home to one of the most modern wine producing facilities in Ningxia. Appreciate the entirety of the estates unique design during a guided tour of the winery before sitting down for dinner with local wine at its on-site organic restaurant.

Stay overnight at the vineyard hotel at Xige Estate.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 4Off-road Jeep Tour of Helan Mountains (optional)

Navigate the valleys of the Helan Mountain Range in a robust off-road jeep, delving deep into the heartland to discover remnants of the Ming Great Wall and catch glimpses of roaming sheep, goats, and horses in the Gobi Desert. Brace yourself for thrilling moments as you ascend to the mountain’s summit and descend along steep roads. Your reward awaits once you reaches the summit: an unbeatable panoramic view of Helan Mountain range & the Ningxia Plain. With few tourists in sight, this off-the-beaten-path journey promises an authentic, adrenaline-fueled adventure, tailor-made for the adventurous and physically fit traveler.

*Please note that this experience is recommended for physically fit travelers. An additional day is required for those who wish to extend there journey with jeep experience.

Day 5Depart from Yinchuan

Your Flight Back Home

Transfer to the airport for your departure flight home.

Meals included: breakfast

Recommended Hotels

Kempinski Hotel, Yinchuan

5 Star


Kempinski Yinchuan offers modern European-style luxury with commanding views over the city. Enjoy a wide selection of Asian and European cuisine in its six unique bars and restaurants.

Jade Dove Vineyard Hotel, Yinchuan
Boutique


Located in the eastern foothills of the Helan Mountains, Xige Estate’s distinctive egg-shaped design aims to blend into the environment and co-exist with nature. Aside from the hotel and the winery, the estate houses tasting rooms, a library, and an organic restaurant.

 

Photos
Details

What’s Included

  • All accommodations based on double-occupancy including breakfasts, as indicated in the itinerary
  • All meals, as indicated in the itinerary, and drinking water
  • All admission fees and activity expenses, as indicated in the itinerar
  • Ground transportation, including airport transfers
  • Services of an English-speaking WildChina guide

What’s Excluded

  • International and domestic flights, domestic trains, plus relevant taxes
  • Chinese tourist visa, which is required for most foreign passport holders
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • Meals, apart from those included in the itinerary, and alcohol
  • Expenses of a personal nature
  • Excursions and activities not included in the itinerary
  • Discretionary gratuities for guides and drivers
Why WildChina

We’re on the ground with you

Our team of advisors will design every detail of the trip with you through close consultation, then orchestrate your entire journey while on the ground. We’re in the same time zone as you, so we can fulfill requests and handle issues without a hitch. With over 40 staff in China and an expansive network of operational partners across the country, we have the manpower to ensure your journey is safe, reliable and comfortable from beginning to end.

Your trip, your way

Flexibility is our highest-ranking compliment. We pull off journeys for pioneers with a 6-hour layover to Hollywood’s elite, and everywhere in between. Our team regularly pulls off unprecedented logistical feats; nearly any time frame or budget is within our realm. No matter how you wish to experience China, we are here to bring that dream to life.

We embody passion

WildChina guides are carefully handpicked for their knowledge and charisma, then meticulously trained to maintain our exceptional service standards. They are expert storytellers and passionate natives of the regions where they guide, having the perfect combination of local insights and service know-how to bring you seamless once-in-a- lifetime moments all across China.

The little things, the big picture

Supporting inspired local economies allows you to experience the soul of the destination, while also protecting and cultivating China’s artisanal culture. From watching artisans creating their handcrafts, to picking organic vegetables for dinner on a local farm, our tours are designed to showcase and protect China’s heritage, both natural and human.

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