Ningxia set to build 50 ‘classified’ quality wineries

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The Ningxia government has said it aims to establish 50 ‘classified’ quality wineries in the region, as part of eight goals to bolster the development of Helan Mountain East appellation.

The forestry department of Ningxia Hui Autonomous region, which includes the region’s provincial ‘Wine Bureau’, announced this week that the local government plans to speed up the development of wine industry through ‘eight projects’ in order to hit its 2020 target.

Image: Helan Mountain East region, Ningxia © Li Demei

The announcement was made soon after China’s National Development and Reform Commission released its latest ‘Catalogue of Encouraged Industries in the Western Region’. In Ningxia, ‘quality wine grape plantation and vinification’ was newly listed.

This means that that wine producers and grape growing companies in the region are set to enjoy special tax benefits from 1 October.

Among the ‘eight projects’ in Ningxia is a plan to establish 50 ‘classified’ quality wineries in the Helan Mountain East appellation that meet the requirements of the region’s own classification system, which is the first of its kind in China.

The classification system aims to encourage the production of ‘estate wines’, instead of the more usual ‘industrialised wine production’, said Hao Linhai, special consultant in charge of the development of the region’s wine industry, in a recent interview with DecanterChina.com.

The criteria of the classification include ‘fully equipped and functional’, ‘with complete distribution networks’ and ‘have certain presence in the national and international market’, according to this week’s announcement.

The local government also plans to increase the region’s vine nursery to 10,000mu (667 hectares), and plant a further 410,000mu (27,333 hectares) of ‘standardised’ wine grape vineyards, while improving 250,000mu (16,667 hectares) of its existing vineyards.

Five exemplary wine producing areas are also planned in the region, which will be directly under the guidance of the Wine Bureau and will work as experimental zones for new varieties and viticultural and vinification methods, the announcement said.

The local government also plans to plant more trees to act as windbreakers. These tree belts are set to eventually be equivalent to ‘at least 10% of the vine plantation area’.

The government also plans to build a trade and exhibition centre, and a 300mu (20 hectare) wine export processing zone in the Yinchuan comprehensive Free Trade Zone.

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